The 2017 Division I Men's Golf Championships kicked off Monday afternoon with all six regionals playing the first of three rounds in three days. Here's a rundown on how each regional is playing out after the first 18 holes:
Baton Rouge Regional
The NCAA Baton Rouge Regional opened with a record-setting round Monday at the University Club as LSU’s Sam Burns tied the collegiate competitive course record of 7-under par 65 to lead the No. 1-seeded Tigers into first place with a collegiate team record 12-under par 276 on the first day of action.
“Obviously, it’s a marathon and not a sprint," Burns said. "We still have another 36 holes to go. All of us, the whole team, we just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing to this point and in the end be where we want to be.”
No. 3 seed Virginia finished the day six shots off the pace in second place with a team round of 6-under par 282, while No. 2 seed and defending NCAA champion Oregon posted an opening-round 1-under 287 for third place as they were the only three teams in the field to break par on the day.
No. 4 seed Duke followed 15 shots back in fourth at 3-over 291 and No. 8 seed Kentucky wrapped up Monday’s opener in fifth at 4-over 292 as they joined the race for NCAA Championship qualification.
Teams looking to break into the top five include Jacksonville (294) in sixth, Jacksonville State (298) in seventh, Arkansas (299) and Northwestern (299) in a tie for eighth and South Florida (302) in 10th place overall.
Recap courtesy William A. Stafford, LSU Athletics
A local team sits atop the leaderboard at the end of the first day at the Grove Regional.
Second-ranked Vanderbilt combined for a 9-under-par 279 to take a six-stroke lead into Tuesday’s second round. Behind them were UCF at 3-under, Troy at 2-under, Kennesaw State at 1-under and Clemson rounded out the top five with an even 288.
“I’m really proud of how the guys hung in there today,” Vanderbilt coach Scott Limbaugh said. “We wanted to let the round come to us and not try to force it and for the most part, we were able to do that. The guys really played some outstanding golf, especially on the back nine."
Vanderbilt got out to an early lead thanks to the play of All-Southeastern Conference first team member Patrick Martin. The sophomore, who is the 15th-ranked individual in the nation according to Golfstat, is tied for the lead with Clemson’s Bryson Nimmer after firing a 6-under 66. The pair of 66s are tied for the best collegiate tournament rounds in the history of The Grove.
“The course was really good, I think we got it on a good day,” Nimmer, a sophomore, said. “It’s still a little wet, so it played a little long. It’s a lot about placement … luckily I was able to do that today, and hopefully I can keep doing it.”
Twenty-three players finished even or better on the first day, with UCF’s Manuel Elvira and Troy’s Cam Norman sitting just one stroke off the lead with a pair of 5-under 67s. Other team places after the first round include host Middle Tennessee in sixth (1-over); Georgia in seventh (6-over); TCU, ETSU and Lipscomb tied for eighth (7-over); Missouri in 11th (8-over); and Texas Tech and Harvard tied for 12th (11-over).
Recap courtesy Mark Owens, Middle Tennessee Athletics
West Lafayette Regional
Third-seeded UNLV shot a 1-under par 287 to lead Illinois and New Mexico by one shot after 18 holes of the West Lafayette Regional..
The Runnin’ Rebels were the lone team to shoot under par as the Kampen Course showed its teeth in the opening round. The 18-hole scoring average of 74.81 was the second-highest average among the six regionals, despite near-perfect scoring conditions and light winds. With the forecast calling for gusty winds the next two days, scoring may get even more difficult.
Leading the way for the Runnin’ Rebels was John Oda, who recorded six birdies against just one bogey during his round. The junior from Honolulu made the turn in 1-under par, then posted four birdies on his back nine for a 5-under par 67 to lead Illinois’ Edoardo Lipparelli and Illinois State’s Trent Wallace by one shot.
Lipparelli was making news early, making the turn in 30 and getting to 7-under par after 11 holes, but three bogeys in his last five holes dropped him one shot back. Wallace, playing as an individual, would have shared the lead but a bogey on No. 18, dropped him one shot back as well.
“My wedge play was solid today and I was keeping the ball in the fairway,” Wallace said. “By putting the ball in my wedge numbers, I could knock them tight. I wish my team was here with me, but it is nice having someone here representing Illinois State.”
New Mexico, which entered the tournament as the No. 8 seed, turned in a strong day with three players turning in identical 1-under par 71s. Andrej Bevins, Andre Garcia and Gustavo Morantes all are tied for seventh after one round.
Illinois and New Mexico are tied for second and will be paired with UNLV in the second round. South Carolina is fourth at 3-over par 291, while Florida, Auburn and host Purdue are all tied for fifth at 4-over par 292. Saint Mary’s is eighth at 6-over par 294 and Augusta and Richmond are at 296 and 297, respectively, making nine teams within 10 shots of leader UNLV.
Recap courtesy Christopher A. Forman, Purdue Athletics
No. 8 Stanford blew ahead of the 13-team field in the Stanford Regional, registering a 9-under-par 271 on Monday. Sitting six strokes better than second-place Baylor, the Cardinal received rounds of even-par or better from each of its five student-athletes.
The Cardinal is seeking a fifth regional title, and third in as many seasons, while playing host.
McNealy will sleep well after draining this birdie putt on 18 to finish at 5-under. pic.twitter.com/sTQ5skU93W— Stanford Men's Golf (@StanfordMGolf) May 15, 2017
"We're excited about the good start today, and tomorrow should prove to be a good test," said Conrad Ray, Stanford's Knowles Family Director of Men's Golf. "The conditions got tougher as the day went on — the greens got firmer and the wind came up. But we putted well on the back nine and made a lot of birdies, and hopefully we can keep it rolling."
Monday's round featured a 5-under 65 from Stanford All-American Maverick McNealy, whose score was matched by Oklahoma's Brad Dalke to lead the medalist race. Behind Stanford and Baylor on the team leaderboard's top five is BYU (-2), North Florida (-1) and Oklahoma (even).
Recap courtesy Stanford Athletics
No. 11 Texas closed Round 1 of the Austin Regional in first place on Monday at its home course at UT Golf Club. Longhorns junior Scottie Scheffler leads the field after firing a 5-under 66, tying his season-low round.
Scheffler started the day with two pars before making birdies on holes three, five and seven to go 3-under par. He made a bogey on hole eight's par-8 but ended the front nine with another par to make the turn at 2-under.
On the back nine, Scheffler made a birdie on 10's par-4, followed with three straight pars, and then he made back-to-back birdies on 14's par-5 and 15's par-4. He closed the round with pars to finish the day 5-under par.
"I got into a rhythm on the back nine and started hitting it better. I wasn't swinging the best on the front nine and kind of survived it [at 2-under]," Scheffler said. "I really hit the ball well on the back nine. I got a good break on 7 off the tee which kind of helped keep me going, and from there I hit a wedge to within a foot and made birdie. That was a good turning point for me today."
As a team, the Longhorns fired a 7-under 277 to sit five strokes in front of second-place finisher Mississippi. Oklahoma State (+3) finished in third while Iowa State, North Carolina State and Arizona State ended the opening round in a tie for fourth place at +6. The Longhorns recorded a tournament-best 22 birdies on the first day.
Recap courtesy Texas Athletics
Just 12 strokes separate the top seven schools after the opening round of the Sammamish Regional. No. 24 Florida State grabbed the first-round lead after firing a combined 6-under 278, followed by No. 1 USC (-4) and No. 36 Alabama (-1). Kent State (+3) and Texas A&M (+3) are in a tie for fourth while San Diego State (+6) and Penn State (+6) are tied for sixth on the 6,885-yard par-71 course.
USC’s Sean Crocker is leading the field after firing a 7-under 64 in the opening round. Florida State’s Josh Lee (-4) is in second while Justin Suh of USC (-3), Steven Setterstrom of Alabama and Nick Carlson of Michigan are tied for third.
Bryant’s Ryan Brown aced the 181-yard par-3 second hole.
The host team, 30th-ranked University of Washington, sits in 10th place after carding a collective 11-over-par 295. Individually, Washington was paced by senior Corey Pereira and sophomore Carl Yuan, who both ended the day in a tie for 31st out of 75 golfers after posting 2-over 73.
Recap courtesy Traci Bode, Washington Athletics