WAIKOLOA, HAWAII – Knowing they had not played some of their best golf this past fall, the Oregon men’s golf team came ready for day one of the Amer Ari Invitational. Thomas Lim was particular zoned in on the par-72 Waikoloa King’s Course for the Ducks, carding a 64 on the round. Lim sank nine birdies through his first 15 holes before taking a bogey on the final hole. Lim currently sits on top of the individual leaderboard with his card of score of eight-under par.

The freshman’s eight-under par score is tied for third all-time at Oregon, and was just three-strokes off from tying the course record of 11-under par.

“I thought we played well today, certainly Thomas is just on fire today,” head coach Casey Martin. “He’s played beautifully since he’s been over here in Hawaii. Hopefully he will continue that great play tomorrow. The field here is incredible so we’ll have to play lights out to continue to compete with these teams, but it shows that we’re capable if we play well.

Oregon carded a score of 276 as a team (-12) and currently sits in sixth place. The Ducks at one point were in second, trailing TCU by just one stroke.

“I’ve just been feeling really great this past week,” Lim said. "I struggled through qualifying and peaked at the right moment. I was just really calm out there today and thought to myself ‘wow, I get to play golf today,’ and didn’t think about the score. I hit a lot of putts and greens today which helped.”

“I had a four-footer for par and it hit the grain and went off the lip,” Lim said about the bogey on his the eighth hole. “You’re going to mess up at least once or twice in a round, so I’ll take the score any day.”

Sophomore Brandon McIver had a rough start, double-bogeying on the seventh hole followed by bogies on 11th, 13th, and 15th holes before storming back in his last seven holes. McIver went four-straight holes with at least a birdie or better in his final five to finish one-under on the day.

“It was definitely a combination of nerves and not making good shots in,” McIver said about his slow start. “I started off really slow and didn’t get my feet under me. I just tried to keep my emotions in check and found my stride in the end there. It was the first tournament for me in a while so I was just happy to be able to contribute to the team.”

Sulman Raza finished the day at two-under thanks to a birdie on the fourth hole after bogeying the previous hole. Ryann Ree also came in at two-under par before shooting bogeying three of his last four and wrapped up day one-over par (73).  Zach Foushee also struggled on his last four hole, shooting bogey-birdie-bogey to card a 71 (-1).

No. 3 Oklahoma took the lead over TCU on the final stretch of the day carding a 271 (-17). The Horn Frogs who led for most of the day before the Cowboys took the lead, finished in second at 16-under par (272). USC is right on TCU’s tail with team score of 273 (-15) while Texas and Auburn are all knotted up at 14-under par for fourth place.

The Ducks tee-off at the King’s Course tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. (PST) for round two of the Amer Ari Invitational.

24th Annual Amer Ari Invitational (Golfstat Ranking)
1.         #3 Oklahoma State – 271 (-17)
2.         TCU – 272 (-16)
3.         #24 USC – 273 (-15)
T4.      #16 Texas – 274 (-14)
T4.      #27 Auburn – 274 (-14)
6.        Oregon – 276 (-12)
7.        #42 Texas Tech – 278 (-10)
T8.      Hawaii-Hilo – 279 (-9)
T8.      Hawaii – 279 (-9)
T10.   #30 Arizona State – 280 (-8)
T10.   #19 Washington – 280 (-8)
12.     #11 Stanford – 281 (-7)
13.     #15 UCLA – 283 (-5)
14.     Oregon State 285 (-3)
T15.   #2 Georgia Tech – 286 (-2)
T15.   Osaka Gakuin University – 286 (-2)
17.     Colorado – 287 (-1)
T18.   San Jose State – 290 (+2)
T18.   UC Davis – 290 (+2)
20.     CSU Monterey Bay – 295 (+7)