COLUMBUS, Ohio – The last time Razorback senior Julian Perico played Ohio State’s Scarlet Course, he won the 2017 AJGA Memorial Junior (prior to signing with Arkansas) with rounds of 67-69 over the final 36 holes, including a 30 on the front nine in round two and a 31 on the back nine in round three.
On Monday, Perico once again fired a 31 on the inward nine and posted a 3-under-par 68 to lead by one stroke after round one of the NCAA Columbus Regional, also played on the Scarlet Course. The Razorbacks are eighth (292/+8) but only two strokes from the coveted fifth-place position and just six strokes out of second.
Perico opened the Regional with a bogey and he fell to 2-over after a bogey n the 233-yard, par-3 5th hole. From that point, Perico reeled off eight pars and five birdies, carding a “3” on six on the last eight holes – four being birdies and two being pars.
Perico dominated the field on the par 4’s, playing them at 4-under and his five birdies tied for the lead in round one.
It was Perico’s third-best round of the season – following a final-round 65 at Cabo and a final-round 67 at the Carmel Cup – while he shot his third career round in the 60’s in the NCAA postseason. He turned in a 67 in round one of the 2019 NCAA Regional, which led to him earning a spot at the NCAA Championship hosted at the Blessings Golf Club. At last year’s NCAA Championship, Perico shot a 68 in round four to help the Razorbacks move from 13th to 11th in the final standings through stroke play.
Top-seed and second-ranked Oklahoma State leads the 13-team field after posting a 4-under-par 280 to be the only team to break par on Monday. Second through eighth place is only separated by six strokes with #30 ETSU at 286 (+2) followed by San Francisco (288), Clemson (289), three schools tied for fifth at 290 (host Ohio State, Duke, Georgia Tech) and the Razorbacks at 292.
Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira and Luke Long are tied for 35th, each posting a 3-over-par 74 while Segundo Oliva Pinto is tied for 56th (76) and Wil Gibson is tied for 63rd (77).
Arkansas led the field with 60 pars in round one and was the second-best team playing the par 4’s (+3).
Round two of three is set for Tuesday. The top five teams and top individual not on an advancing team after the third round Wednesday will advance to the NCAA Championship.
2022 NCAA Columbus Regional
Round One – May 16
Par: 71 || Yards: 7,455
1. #2 Oklahoma State 280 / -4
2. #30 East Tennessee State 286 / +2
3. San Francisco 286 / +2
4. #23 Clemson 289 / +5
T5. #35 Ohio State 290 / +6
T5. #41 Duke 290 / +6
T5. #11 Georgia Tech 290 / +6
8. #14 Arkansas 292 / +8
9. Kentucky 294 / +10
10. #44 Northwestern 295 / +11
11. Wright State 297 / +13
12. Florida Gulf Coast 298 / +14
13. Southern Illinois 307 / +23