May 15, 2017
Stanford, Calif. – Freshmen Andy Ogletree and Tyler Strafaci each shot even-par 70 Monday, and the 21st-ranked Yellow Jackets posted a 7-over-par 287 and are in eighth place following the first round of the NCAA Stanford Regional at the Stanford Golf Course.
TECH LINEUP — Tech’s quintent, which teed off from the 10th hole, stood even par for the round through 13 holes Monday but played its final five holes 8-over-par, a stretch mitigated by finishing birdies from Strafaci (Davie, Fla.), Ogletree (Little Rock, Miss.) and senior James Clark (Columbus, Ga.).
Neither player had anything higher than a bogey on their cards in the opening round Monday. Strafaci had a pair of birdies and a pair of bogeys, while Ogletree had three of each and James Clark (Columbus, Ga.) had four birdies to counter five bogeys en route to a 71. The two freshmen are tied for 17th place individually, while Clark is tied for 27th.
TEAM LEADERBOARD — Fourth-ranked Stanford, the host team and the top seed, fired a 9-under-par 271 and opened a six-stroke lead over No. 9 Baylor (277, -3) after the opening round. All five Cardinal players shot par or better, led by Maverick McNealy’s 5-under-par 65.
Brigham Young (278, -2), North Florida (279, -1) and Oklahoma (280, E) round out the top five on the leaderboard. The top five finishers after Wednesday’s final round will advance to the NCAA Championship finals May 26-31 in Sugar Grove, Ill.
Pepperdine and Houston are tied for sixth place at 281 (+1), followed by Tech at 287 (+7), Ohio State and North Carolina (both at 288, +8).
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS — McNealy, the nation’s No. 3-ranked player, shared the lead after the opening round with Oklahoma’s Brad Dalke at 65. They are two strokes ahead of a foursome at 67 (-3), which includes the Cardinal’s Franklin Huang, BYU’s Patrick Fishburn and C.J. Lee, and UC Irvine’s David Kim. A trio of Baylor players — Matthew Perrine, Cooper Dossey and Hunter Shattuck — are tied for seventh place at 68.
HEAD COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS — “It was a tough round for us, and unfortunately it’s not five rounds, count three. We were sitting at even par with four guys at par midway through the back nine, and suddenly we were 8-over. We were just two inconsistent and put up too many big numbers. You can’t challenge if you have two high scores. We’re behind the curve, but we were seven shots out with six holes left a couple of years in San Diego, so it’s not something we can’t overcome.”
REGIONAL TOURNAMENT INFORMATION — The Yellow Jackets, the No. 4 seed at Stanford, are playing in an NCAA regional for the 20th straight year and for the 27th time in the 29 years the NCAA has used a regional qualifying format for its championship. They are part of a regional field that includes 13 teams and 10 individuals.
The Stanford Regional includes eight teams listed among the nation’s top 50 of the Golfstat rankings, including (in order of seed) Stanford (4), Baylor (9), Oklahoma (15), Georgia Tech (21), Pepperdine (27), North Carolina (33), North Florida (41) and BYU (45). Houston (51), Ohio State (58), UC Santa Barbara (66), Sacramento State (107) and South Dakota State (196). BYU, UCSB, Sacramento State and South Dakota State qualified automatically by winning their conference tournaments.
The Stanford Golf Course plays to a par of 70 and is 6,727 yards in length. It is the third layout under 7,000 yards the Yellow Jackets will play this spring.
This is the third straight year that Tech will traveled to the West Coast for its NCAA regional. The Jackets played last May in Tucson, Ariz., where they finished tied for seventh and failed to advance, and in San Diego in 2015.
The other five regional tournaments will be conducted in Baton Rouge, La. (top seed, LSU); College Grove, Tenn. (top seed, Vanderbilt); West Lafayette, Ind. (top seed, Florida); Austin, Texas (top seed, Oklahoma State); and Sammamish, Wash. (top seed, Southern California).