In a tournament with nearly half the field ranked in the top 25 nationally, the No. 25 Washington men’s golf team is gridlocked in the middle of the team leaderboard after Monday’s first round. The Huskies finished the first 18 of 54 holes at the Western Intercollegiate in eighth place after shooting 6-over 356.
The UW is one stroke back from conference foe UCLA, and 13 strokes back from the leader, No. 26 Oregon. The Huskies hold a one stroke lead over No. 7 Arizona State. The Ducks shot 9-under to claim the top spot on the leaderboard after day one at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif.
“I think this is a course we can and will play really well on,” head coach Matt Thurmond said.
The best outing for the Huskies was from junior Corey Pereira, who posted a 2-under 68 through the first round. Pereira rattled off four birdies to tie for seventh on the individual leaderboard heading into the second round, where he will seek his fifth consecutive top-20 finish.
The next best first round finishers were senior Jonathan Sanders and sophomore Frank Garber, each posting a 1-over 71 to tie for 29th. Sanders is coming off an individual title at the Redhawk Invitational last week. Garber also finished in the top 10 of the same tournament.
Freshman Carl Yuan finished the day in a tie for 38th with a 2-over 72. Yuan was sitting at even-par heading into his final two holes of the day, but would bogey both the 10th and 11th to fall to 2-over.
Senior Chris Babcock posted a 4-over 74, with his highlight of the day being an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole to tie him for 59th individually. Rounding out the six-man UW lineup is junior Kevin Kwon. Kwon struggled Monday, shooting 9-over 79 and tying for 83rd moving into Tuesday’s second round.
“We staged a pretty good comeback late to make the day respectable,” Thurmond said. “It was bleak for a while but we settled in mid-round.”
Oregon sophomore Aaron Wise shot a dominant 7-under 63 first round and holds the top spot in the individual standings by three strokes.
Second round action at Pasatiempo Golf Club begins Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. The UW will be paired with Texas El Paso for the second day of competition.
“Hopefully we can start a bit better so we can see what we can really do out there,” Thurmond said.
Reach reporter Cody Tyo at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @codytyo