Destin, Fla. - The Gustavus Adolphus sits in a tie for fourth place after the opening day of the 2013 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships played Tuesday Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The Gusties finished the day with a 296 (+8).
“We had a great finish today,” said Head Coach Scott Moe. “It was rough out the gates but we rebounded and played well through the middle holes. Four solid scores on day one gives us the start we were looking for.”
The opening round of the 2013 NCAA Men’s Golf Tournament was played on the Links Golf Club, which has a rating of 73.8 and a tournament yardage of 6,854 yards. Heading into the round, coach Moe’s strategy for his group was to keep the ball in play on what is the more narrow of the two courses that will be played on over the four-day tournament.
Sticking to that game plan and leading the Gusties on the day one was senior Coby Rowley (Prior Lake, Minn.). Rowley played par golf from start to finish, shooting even par through the front and back nines to finish with a 72. After bogeying hole No. 12, the senior bounced back with a birdie on the par five 13th to bring his total back to even. Rowley rounded out the day with five straight pars.
“It’s a tight course that isn’t extremely long, so we kept our drivers and three-woods in our bags all day,” said Rowley after the round. “Coach wanted us to use a lot of irons, keep the ball in play, make pars, and wait for the birdies to come.”
Next in line for Gustavus was fellow senior Alex Kolquist (Hermantown, Minn.). Although Kolquist recorded a double bogey on hole six, he bounced back with birdies on seven and nine to shoot even par through the front nine. The senior remained at -1 for four holes after a birdie on hole No. 11. From there, Kolquist shot two-over for the remaining three holes to finish the round with a one-over-par 73.
Andrew Oakes (Jr., Hermantown, Minn.) fired a three-over-par 75 to finish third on the team, while Tyler McMorrow (Jr., St. Cloud, Minn.) shot a four-over-par 76 to round out Gustavus’s top four. Oakes got off to a slow start with three bogeys in the first five holes. After going two-over-par through the front nine, the junior was one-over in the back to complete the day +3. McMorrow bogeyed the opening hole, yet bounched back with seven consecutive pars followed by a birdie on hole No. 9 to bring him to even-par through the front. Despite posting two birdies on the back nine, a thriple-bogey and three more bogeys brought him to a day one finish of +4.
Trevor Gervais (Sr. Fergus Falls, Minn.) rounded out the team with an 88 (+16).
“We are in good shape”, said Rowley about where his team sits after the first day of competition. “We didn’t post a ton of low scores, but the opening day is not when a team wins this tournament – Coach Moe stressed that point to us today.”
Gustavus will tee off tomorrow at the Raven Course at 12:50 p.m. The Raven has a rating of 73.8 with a tournament yardage of 6,854 yards.
“Tomorrow’s course is a more wide open so we’ll have a chance to take out the drivers more often,” commented Rowley about day two’s competition. “Other than that, the strategy isn’t going to change all that much. We just need to continue to keep the ball in play and stay in it mentally the entire way through.”