One round down at NCAA Regional
AUSTIN, Texas – Despite a slow start to the day, Kansas men’s golf continued to battle, finishing the round in 11th place at the NCAA Men’s Golf Regional, led by solid back-nine performances from freshman Andy Spencer and senior Chase Hanna.
“We got off to an awful start and then played solid on the last nine holes,” head coach Jamie Bermel said.
With the opportunity to compete in his first regional, Spencer played his first four holes of The University of Texas Golf Club at even par before finding his first bogey on the par-4 fifth, followed by another on the eighth, to make the turn at 2-over par. Despite two additional bogeys on the back, Spencer recorded three holes under par, including back-to-back birdies, to finish the day with a 72. His 1-over par performance puts him in a tie for 18th at the end of day one.
“I’m very proud of Andy Spencer and the way he battled all day,” Bermel said. “As a freshman, this is his first chance at post-season play and he was solid all round.”
Hanna also followed the theme for the day, starting out slow before finding his groove to also post a 72 and end the first day in a tie for 18th. Bogeys on his first and ninth holes, resulted in 2-over-par front nine. With two bogeys on the back, Hanna was able to birdie both par-5’s as well as the par-4 17th.
Playing his first four holes at 1-under par, junior Daniel Sutton’s momentum slowed as he recorded a double-bogey, followed by two more bogeys to make the turn at 3-over par. With two more bogeys on the back, Sutton was able to sink a steaming 20-foot putt on the 13th for a lone back-nine birdie. Sutton finished the day with a 4-over-par, 75, and sits in a tie for 44th.
In characteristic fashion, junior Daniel Hudson didn’t give up, despite playing his front nine at 6-over par, including four bogeys and a double. After a bogey on the 10th, Hudson rolled in a birdie putt to enter the clubhouse with a 77.
Also refusing to quit, Charlie Hillier kept his composure after three bogeys followed by a quadruple bogey put him at 7-over par through seven holes. Hillier played the remainder of the round at 1-over-par to finish the day with a 79.
“Chase finished well and Dan Hudson played his last 10 holes at even-par,” Bermel said. “I was with Dan Sutton today and he really got nothing out of his round. Charlie had a bad hole on the front, but continued to play well after that.”
Kansas is in 11th place in the 14-team field, just six strokes back from Iowa State, Arizona State and North Carolina State, which are all in a tie for fourth place. No. 16 Texas and No. 22 Ole Miss were the only two teams to finish in red numbers, at 7-under par and 2-under par, respectively.
“We are not that far out of position, but we need to get off to a fast start Tuesday to post a good round,” Bermel said.
Second round action will begin Tuesday at 8:55 am CT. The Jayhawks will need to a top-five finish in order to advance to the NCAA Championship in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
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