Feb. 2, 2011
Waikoloa, Hawai’i – John-Tyler Griffin shot a 5-under-par 67, while Richard Werenski and Kyle Scott also scored under par Wednesday as the 5th-ranked Yellow Jackets finished the first round of the Amer Ari Invitational in a tie for second place.
Tech was in the lead or close to it for much of the first round, but 24th-ranked Southern California finished strong to take a seven-stroke lead at 17-under-par 271. The Yellow Jackets and No. 4 Oklahoma State are tied at 10-under 278, with Arizona State another shot back at 279, Oregon in fifth at 281 and No. 7 Texas in sixth at 282.
Thirteen teams and 41 players broke par Wednesday on the 7,074-yard, par 72 Kings Course at the Waikoloa Beach Resort.
“We got off to a good start, but made a couple of mistakes in the middle of the back nine,” said head coach Bruce Heppler, whop has brought his team to the Kona coast of the Big Island for the 13th time. “Richy finished well; he was +2 at one point and played the last three holes in 3-under for 69. It’s always good to have everybody par or better. Our guys are looking forward to the next couple of days.”
Griffin, a senior from Wilson, N.C., who has matched or broken par in 12 of his 16 rounds this year, had an eagle and five birdies on his card Wednesday. He is in a four-way tie for fifth place, five shots behind Oregon’s Daniel Miernicki, who shot a 10-under 62. Matt Hovan of San Jose State, and the Trojans’ Jeffrey Kang and Sam Smith are tied for second with 66s.
All five of Tech’s players matched or broke par Wednesday. Werenski, a freshman from South Hadley, Mass., shot a 3-under 69 and is in a group of 11 players tied for 10th place. Scott, a senior from Johannesburg, South Africa, was one of 10 players to post a 2-under 70.
Round two begins at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, with the final round set for the same time Friday. The tournament uses a shotgun start for all three rounds.
AMER ARI INVITATIONALWaikoloa Kings' Course, Waikoloa, HawaiiFirst-Round Results
TEAM SCORES 1 Southern California 271 -17 T2 Georgia Tech 278 -10 T2 Oklahoma State 278 -10 4 Arizona State 279 -9 5 Oregon 281 -7 6 Texas 282 -6 T7 Oregon State U. 284 -4 T7 Texas Tech 284 -4 T7 UC Davis 284 -4 T10 UCLA 285 -3 T10 Colorado 285 -3 T12 TCU 287 -1 T12 San Jose State Univ. 287 -1 14 Washington 288 E T15 San Francisco, U. of 290 +2 T15 Hawaii-Hilo 290 +2 T15 Florida State 290 +2 18 Hawaii 292 +4 19 Stanford 293 +5 20 Western Washington U 294 +6
TEAM LEADERS 1 Daniel Miernicki Oregon 62 -10 T2 Matt Hovan San Jose State Univ. 66 -6 T2 Sam Smith * Southern California 66 -6 T2 Jeffrey Kang Southern California 66 -6 T5 Martin Trainer Southern California 67 -5 T5 Jesper Kennegard Arizona State 67 -5 T5 Kevin Tway Oklahoma State 67 -5 T5 J.T. Griffin Georgia Tech 67 -5 9 Ramsey Sahyoun Southern California 68 -4