LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The No. 7-ranked University of Oregon men's golf team opened action Tuesday at the NCAA Championships in 11th place. The Ducks finished the day at seven-over 291 at the par-71 Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif.
“The guys really battled today,” Oregon Head Coach Casey Martin said. “The conditions were really difficult as the wind picked up in the afternoon when we teed off, and this obviously is a tough championship course. But overall I was very happy with the way the guys collected themselves and calmed down after getting off to a tough start.”
Oregon only trails the leader, No. 2 Alabama (+1, 285) by six strokes and only sits three spots behind second place No. 18 Florida (+4, 288) and No. 4 Auburn (+4, 288) after the first round of the 54-hole tournament.
Fellow Pac-12 conference member No.5 UCLA finished the day in a tie for fourth place with No. 28 Oklahoma at five-over 289.
Individually for Oregon, the three seniors Eugene Wong, Andrew Vijarro and Daniel Miernicki led the team.
“Eugene did a great job sinking a string of birdies at the end and Andrew played awesome all day,” Martin said. “Daniel didn’t play his best today, but I expect him to bounce back. They are all seniors and we will need to count on them to do a great job tomorrow.”
Vijarro was the leader for the Ducks after shooting one-under 70 in the first round. The Bend, Ore. native had four birdies and 11 par scores, finishing in a tie for 10th among individuals.
After sinking three birdies in his last six holes, Pac-12 Player of the Year and senior Wong overcame a rough start to finish the day at one-over 72. Wong started his first nine holes at two-over and came back in the last nine to sink three birdies to go along with two bogeys.
All-Pac-12 First-Team honoree Daniel Miernicki bogied the first hole of the day, then came back to eagle the next hole. He struggled through the next seven holes by carding four bogeys and only one birdie to finish the day at two-over 73.
Freshman Jonathan Woo and redshirt junior Robbie Ziegler each carded a five-over 76 on the 7,292 yard-course.
On the overall leaderboard, UCLA’s Anton Arboleda finished in first place at four-under 67. Kent State’s Corey Conners and Florida’s Tyler McCumber tied for second place with a three-under 68.
The Ducks hope to take advantage of the early tee time tomorrow, starting Wednesday’s second round at 7:50am.
“The greens were really bumpy today,” Martin said. “I think we can benefit by teeing off earlier in the day tomorrow, just like those who enjoyed early tee time this morning.”
The 30-team event starts off its second of three rounds tomorrow, Wednesday May 30th.
The top eight teams then advance to match play with the quarterfinal on Friday, June 1, semifinal on Saturday, June 2, and final on Sunday, June 3.
More regional and NCAA championship information is available at www.NCAAsports.com.