TEMPE, ARIZ. - The University of North Carolina men's golf team fired an even par 280 and is tied for fourth place after the first round of the NCAA Tempe Regional. The Tar Heels were led by sophomores Brandon Dalinka and Bailey Patrick who both carded under-par rounds.
"We had a solid start in what looks like might be a shoot-out for the next two days," says Tar Heel head coach Andrew Sapp. "There are so many teams in the hunt for the five qualifying spots that every shot is going to be very important. It should be an awfully exciting next two days."
Dalinka's 2-under-par 68 came after he fired four birdies on the front nine and two bogeys on the back. The Newtown, Pa., native is deadlocked in sixth place with 10 other players. Patrick's 1-under 69 came after he fired four birdies and three bogeys as all occurred on the front nine except a lone birdie on hole #14. Patrick, from Charlotte, N.C., is tied for 17th place. Senior Michael McGowan, from Southern Pines, N.C., fired an even par 70 and is tied for 23rd place. He was 1-under going into the last hole, but suffered a bogey-5 to finish the round at even par. Andy Sajevic, a junior from Fremont, Neb., carded a 3-over 73 and is tied for 45th while freshman Keagan Cummings, from Dublin, Ireland, shot a 75 and is tied for 61st.
Top seed and third-ranked UCLA grabbed the lead over the 14-team field as the Bruins fired a 12-under-par 268. Duke is 10 strokes back in second place at 2-under 278. Austin Peay State is in third place after shooting a 1-under 279 while five teams, including the Tar Heels, are deadlocked in fourth place at even par 280 - North Carolina, Georgia, Texas A&M, Clemson and UCF. This sets up what should be an exciting final two rounds as the top five teams advance to the NCAA Championships.
Two players fired a 6-under-par 64 and are tied for the individual lead - Pontus Widegren of UCLA and Dustin Korte of Austin Peay State. Greg Eason of Central Florida is just one stroke back and alone in third place with a 5-under 65. UCLA's Anton Arboleda and Texas A&M's Johannes Veeman are tied for fourth place at 3-under 67 while 11 players, including Carolina's Dalinka, are tied for sixth place at 2-under 68.
The 54-hole event continues through Saturday at ASU's Karsten Golf Course which features a par 70, 7,036-yard layout. The top five teams and top individual not on those five teams advance on to the NCAA Championships to be played May 28-June 2 at the Capital City Club, Crabapple Course, in Atlanta, Ga. The Tar Heels will begin teeing off at 9:30 EDT Friday morning. Live scoring is available on GoHeels.com.