Oklahoma State leads in Columbia, five other teams off to strong starts
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The Columbia Regional is one of the most competitive regional sites in this year's NCAA tournament. To advance to the NCAA finals in Prairie Dunes, Kansas, May 23-28, teams must finish within the top 5 at the Columbia Regional.
Oklahoma State (-16), ranked No. 2 nationally, is leading the 14-team field heading into the second round. No. 11 Virginia (-3) played a great back nine after an hour rain delay to finish the day in third. The Tigers finished the first day of competition in front of several highly ranked programs including No. 24 Arkansas (E), No. 14 LSU (+1) and No. 26 Arizona State (+3).
Sophomore Jordan Niebrugge blistered the par-72, 7,141-yard layout with a bogey-free 65 to lead senior teammate Talor Gooch by two strokes. Niebrugge birdied three of his first five holes before adding his fourth birdie of the day at the par-5 ninth to turn at 4-under 32. After opening his back nine with three pars, he reeled off birdies at the 13th, 15th and 17th to move to 7-under par for his round and match his low score of the year.
Round 2 of the 2014 NCAA Columbia Regional begins at 9 a.m. ET Friday.
San Antonio Regional
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Georgia stands first after the opening day of competition in the NCAA San Antonio Regional.
On Thursday, the top-seeded and third-ranked Bulldogs fired a 7-under-par 281 on Briggs Ranch Golf Course's par-72, 7,247-yard layout. Georgia holds a 4-shot lead over College of Charleston, which opened with a 3-under 285. Central Florida and SMU are tied for third at even-par 288.
The Bulldogs need a top-5 finish in the San Antonio Regional to advance to the NCAA championships.
Freshman Greyson Sigg paced the Bulldogs on Thursday as he fired a 4-under 68. Senior Michael Cromie followed at 2-under 70, while sophomore Lee McCoy signed for a 1-under 71 and senior Joey Garber posted an even-par 72. Senior Keith Mitchell had the Bulldogs' non-counting score of 3-over 75.
Sigg stands third individually, one shot behind SMU's Bryson Dechambeau and TCU's Julien Brun. Cromie is sixth, while McCoy is 11th and Garber is 15th.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama's top-ranked team shot 1-under-par 287 to take the opening-round lead at the NCAA Auburn Regional championship on Thursday at the par-72, 7,254-yard Auburn University Club.
The Crimson Tide has a six-shot lead on second-place Texas, who carded a 5-over round of 293. Host Auburn is third at 6-over 294 with Colorado fourth at 8-over 296. Kennesaw State and Louisville are tied for fifth at 9-over 297. Alabama was the only team in the field to break par and it was 21st round of par or better in 31 circuits this season, which is a school record.
The top five finishers at the NCAA Auburn Regional will advance to the NCAA championship at Prairie Dunes Country.
The Crimson Tide were led by seniors Cory Whitsett and Trey Mullinax, who both carded 1-under-par 71s and are tied for fourth place, two shots off the lead Louisville's Robin Sciot-Siegrist, who fired a 69.
Alabama will play with Texas and Auburn in Friday's second round.
Sugar Grove Regional
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. -- UAB is in first place after a strong first day at the NCAA Sugar Grove Regional at Rich Harvest Farms on Thursday. The Blazers shot a 292 (+4) for the first 18 holes of play to hold a one stroke lead over second-place Illinois.
The Blazers were in a close battle at the top of the leaderboard, but back-to-back birdies on the 17th hole (No. 8) helped pushed them in front of No. 9 Illinois.
Several players got off to great starts despite the tough weather conditions. Senior Wilson McDonald, who is tied for fourth with an even 72 on the day, birdied two of his first three holes. McDonald’s 72 his is best score in regional play and his 16th round of at or below par. He finished with five birdies on the day, which tied for the most.
UAB will be back on the course for the second round on Friday. The Blazers will start on hole No. 1. Sutton will tee off at 10:15 a.m., Rohwer at 10:26 a.m., Love at 10:37 a.m., Dunne at 10:48 a.m. and McDonald at 10:59 a.m. ET.
EUGENE, Ore. -- A barrage on the back nine of Eugene Country Club put Stanfod in the driver’s seat of the NCAA Eugene Regional championships on Thursday.
Stanford’s four scoring players combined to go 5-under after making the turn to give the Cardinal a 4-under 276 and four-stroke lead over second-place Oklahoma.
Clubhouse leader Patrick Rodgers was 4-under with six birdies, four coming on the back nine. Rodgers was 1-under heading into the back and added birdies on 10, 12, 13 and 14. He bogeyed the par-4 17th and punched in a par on 18 for his 66.
Raleigh, N.C. -- Following a two-plus-hour weather delay, play was called for the day with Georgia Tech four shots ahead of Washington during the opening round of the NCAA Raleigh Regional at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course.
Tech senior Richard Werenski, working on a 5-under-par round, was preparing to hit a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole when the horn sounded, halting play at 12:40 p.m. Fellow senior Bo Andrews, playing in his hometown, was on the 18th tee having played the first 17 holes in 4-under-par. Ollie Schniederjans (-3 through 14) and Seth Reeves (-2 through 15) also were playing well for the Yellow Jackets.
Play was called for the day at 2:45 p.m. with heavy downpours having soaked the 7,213-yard, par-72 course for more than two hours and no break expected. Due the amount of rain the course has absorbed, play will not resume Friday morning until 11:30 a.m. NCAA officials still hope to complete round two Friday as well.