CCU struggles on first day of NCAAs but still in hunt

The Coastal Carolina men’s golf team shot a 2-over par, 290 in the opening round of the 2018 NCAA Kissimmee Regional and stands in 12th place after 18 holes at the par 72, 7,154-yard Watson Course at Reunion Resort.

Heavy rain in the morning caused a one-hour and 10-minute delay in the morning. While the Chanticleers are in 12th, the team is just seven strokes from fifth place with two rounds remaining. The top five teams from each of the six regionals will advance to the NCAA Championship.

“We got off to as bad of a start as we possibly could through the first 5 holes,” said CCU head coach Jim Garren. “I think it was a combination of nerves and the delay to start. However, after that, it was a really good day. Our guys fought hard and we put ourselves in position. There is very little room for error in a regional so we have to clean some things up and make sure everyone is on the same page. All in all, I feel pretty good about tomorrow and am looking for a big day from our guys.”

Host team UCF and eighth-ranked Florida lead the 14-team field after shooting a 12-under par 276. The top five is rounded out by #29 Kent State (280), #20 South Florida (282), #5 Vanderbilt (283_ and #17 North Carolina (283).

Three Chanticleers each carded an even-par 72 in the opening round and are tied for 33rd.

Thadd Obecny II had bogeys on two of his first three holes before getting a birdie on the par-5, 14th hole. He dropped a shot on 15, but rallied with a birdie on 16. He made the turn at 1-over, birdied the first home on his back nine and reeled off eight straight pars to finish at even.

Daniel Overas started with a double bogey and was 3-over par after three holes after a bogey on his third hole. He birdied three of his next five holes to make the turn at even. On the back nine, he off-set two bogeys with two birdies for his 72.

States Fort had a fairly clean round. Although, like his teammates, he started slow with two bogeys on his first three holes. He would birdie the par-5 17th, post nine pars, birdie the par-5 8th and finish with a par for his 72.

Luis Ruiz is tied for 47th after turning in a 2-over par 72. The difference in his round was a double bogey on the par-3 15th hole. Otherwise he was even par thanks to three bogeys and three birdies. Morgan Deneen is tied for 56 after an opening-round 75. He was four-our after five hole but settled in to play the final 13 holes at 1-under par.

Round two will commence Tuesday and the Regional will conclude Wednesday.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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