ISU Eighth After First Round of NCAA Championship
HUTCHINSON, Kan. –The Iowa State men’s golf team, playing in its first NCAA Championship since 1953, got off to a great start at the national tournament, posting a first-round 278 at the Prairie Dunes Country Club this afternoon. It ties for the eighth-best round in school history.
ISU played only 18 holes today compared to the afternoon wave of teams, which began their second round of competition. Of the 15 teams in the first wave, the Cyclones had the fourth-best score and posted the eighth-best score of the tournament after round one was completed.
The calm winds and soft greens contributed to ISU’s fantastic opening round.
“We really came out ready to play this morning,” Iowa State head coach Andrew Tank said. “We saw a lot of birdies made on the front nine. The course is playing very different from what I am use to seeing it. It was warm, it was calm and the greens were soft. That’s pretty much the opposite of everything I have ever seen out here. We took advantage of it, and I think there will be some low scores because of it.”
At one point early in the first round, the Cyclones found themselves 9 under and on top of the leaderboard. Everyone was contributing to the hot start, especially sophomore Collin Foster. The Waukee, Iowa native had a 10-hole stretch where he posted seven birdies. He finished the day with a total of eight birdies.
Foster ended the round with a 68 (-2), tying his career best as a Cyclone he posted in the final round of the NCAA Columbia Regional last week. His hot putting fueled his scoring throughout the day.
“With all the rain the course has had, you could be pretty aggressive with your second shots,” Foster said. “I took advantage of it and fortunately rolled it pretty well today. This is a tough course. If you miss it in the wrong spot you can easily make bogey. I tried to be careful and play to my spots.”
Tank has been extremely pleased with the progress of Foster over the last month.
“Collin played great and he built on the round he posted at regionals,” Tank said. “He’s really taken his game to the next level this spring and I am really happy to see him play so well.”
Junior Sam Daley also started strong. Daley was 4 under through 12 holes and ended the day with a 1 under 69, his sixth sub-70 round of the season.
All-American Scott Fernandez posted a 70 (even) this morning. After a double bogey on No. 5 because of a lost ball in the fescue, the junior responded with three birdies in the next four holes. Fernandez has shot even par or lower in his last four rounds.
Freshman Jack Carter, who was thrust into the lineup after the injury to Nick Voke, was solid today with an opening-round 71 (+1). Carter had three birdies and multiple up-and-down saves this morning.
Freshman Ruben Sondjaja tallied a 73 (+3).
Tank was very proud of his team’s first round performance.
“The guys really played well,” Tank said. “I am really happy with the position after one round. We were excited to get out here early and finish off the round. We put ourselves in a good spot and I am really excited to see how we do tomorrow.”
The Cyclones will begin their second round at 8:40 a.m. CT tomorrow morning, followed by as many holes they can complete in the third round.
Team Scores- First Round Only
1. South Carolina 272
2. Oklahoma 273
3. Auburn 274
5. SMU 275
6. Georgia Tech 277
Oklahoma State 277
8. Iowa State 278
9. UCLA 279
13. Stanford 281
15. UAB 282
16. Missouri 283
17. Houston 284
19. Illinois 285
Georgia State 285
21. Florida State 286
23. Purdue 286
24. Kentucky 288
25. Texas 289
26. Arkansas 292
27. Kennesaw State 294
Virginia Tech 294
29. USC 296
Texas A&M 296
Iowa State Scores- First Round Standings
T14. Collin Foster 68
T27. Sam Daley 69
T47. Scott Fernandez 70
T63. Jack Carter 71
T97. Ruben Sondjaja 73
Top Individuals – First Round Only
1. Will Starke, South Carolina 64
2. Charlie Saxon, Oklahoma 65
Denny McCarthy, Virginia 65