COLUMBIA, Mo. – The fourth-seeded Arkansas men’s golf team used a strong finish to its first round at the NCAA Columbia Regional to shoot a team score of one-over 289 to sit in a tie for fourth place at The Club at Old Hawthorne on Thursday.
Keyed by back-to-back birdies by sophomore Taylor Moore – who shot a team-low one-under 71 – to finish the round and two other birdies on the par 5 9th hole, the Razorbacks were able to make a late charge into the coveted top five. The top five teams following the 54-hole regional will advance to the NCAA Championships in Hutchinson, Kan. next weekend.
The Razorbacks opened the round on the par 5 10th and closed on the par 5 9th, playing the two holes a combined three-under with five of their 12 birdies on the day. All five players birdied at least one of the two holes.
The team low-man in four of six events so far this spring, Moore carried the confidence from an eighth place showing at the 2013 NCAA Regionals into Thursday’s first round. After a bogey, bogey start to his round, Moore played the next 12 holes bogey-free with a pair of birdies on the par 4 13th and par 4 17th. The under-par round is the Moore’s ninth of the year and sixth of the spring.
Sophomore’s accounted for Arkansas’ top three scores, as Kolton Crawford was the third player to finish with an even-par 72. Like Moore, Crawford fought back from back-to-back bogeys to start his round, responding with a pair of birdie-2s en route to even-par 36s on both sides. Sophomore Nicolas Echavarria nearly had the shot of the day on the 9th, as his second shot from 250 yards out on the par 5 nearly bounced in as he tapped in for birdie following an eagle putt. Echavarria finished with a one-over 73. An All-SEC first team selection for the third straight year, senior Sebastian Cappelen turned in the final counting score with a one-over 73.
Top-seeded Oklahoma State fired the low-round of the day with a 16-under 272 to take a nine-stroke lead into Friday. Host and eighth-seeded Missouri occupies second place after a seven-under 281, while second-seeded Virginia is just four strokes clear of the Razorbacks in third.
Arkansas will go off the first tee for Friday’s second round from 8:20-9:00 a.m. on the par 72, 7141-yard course. The Razorbacks will be paired with Arizona State for the second straight day and fellow SEC member LSU.
T10. Taylor Moore – 71 (-1)
T12. Kolton Crawford – 72 (E)
T22. Sebastian Cappelen – 73
T22. Nicolas Echavarria – 73
T52. Zach Coats - 77
Worthy Of A Hog Call (#WPS)
Sitting in seventh place with just a few holes remaining, the Razorbacks regrouped after a one-hour lightning delay and returned to the course with four birdies over the last two holes. Moore closed his round with two straight birdies, while Echavarria and Crawford both birdied the par 5 9th hole to help Arkansas vault into a tie for fourth.
McMakin Post-Round Sound
“I’m pleased with how we played today. I thought we were sharp from tee to green, but we gave up some shots on the green. We’ll get some extra putting in here in a few minutes and we’ll be ready to improve tomorrow. Overall today was a good day.”
@RazorbackMGOLF Quick Hits
· Arkansas is making its seventh straight NCAA Regional appearance in head coach Brad McMakin’s eight seasons.
· First time Arkansas hasn’t counted a score over 73 in the first round of an NCAA Regional since 2011.
· Arkansas broke 290 in the first round in five of seven spring events after doing so just once in the fall.
· Moore has shot even-par or lower in three of his four career rounds at an NCAA Regional.
· Moore has a counting score in 20 straight rounds, including all 19 in the spring.
· Moore has a combined 12 birdies in his last two rounds.
· Crawford’s even-par round was his team-leading fifth of the year.
· Crawford needs just two birdies to become the third Razorback with 100 birdies this year.
· Echavarria carded his 150th career birdie on the par 4 14th hole.
· Echavarria now has a counting score in a career-best eight straight rounds.
· Cappelen is tied for the tournament lead with 15 pars.
· Cappelen’s counting score in the 129th of his career.
· Cappelen played a bogey-free first nine holes, extending his streak to 27.
· Coats and Crawford made their NCAA Regional debuts.
Post-Round Tweetables (140 Characters Or Less)
· .@RazorbackMGolf T-4th place @ the NCAA Columbia Regional after RD 1. Razorbacks looking for 4th NCAA Championship berth in 6 years
NCAA COLUMBIA REGIONAL STANDINGS (Seed)
1. Oklahoma State (1) – 272 (-16)
2. Missouri (8) – 281 (-7)
3. Virginia (2) – 285 (-3)
T4. Arkansas (4) – 289
T4. LSU (3) – 289
T6. Arizona State (5) – 291
T6. Iowa (6) – 291
8. Iowa State (9) – 293
9. San Diego State (7) – 294
10. Denver (12) – 300
11. Middle Tennessee (10) – 301
T12. Ohio State (11) – 308
T12. Loyola-MD (13) – 308
14. Bryant (14) – 316
For more information on Arkansas men’s golf, follow @RazorbackMGolf on Twitter.
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