BATON ROUGE – The 17th-ranked and No. 3-seeded LSU Tigers wrapped up Thursday’s opening round at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional just three shots out of qualifying position for the NCAA Championships after posting a team score of 15-over par 303 at the University Club to tie for seventh place in the overall team standings.
The top five teams after three rounds at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional will qualify for the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships being held May 27-June 2 at Capital City Club in Atlanta, Ga.
The 10th-ranked and No. 2-seeded Florida Gators were the only team to tame the University Club during Thursday’s action while jumping out to a 10-shot lead over the rest of the field with their 2-under par 286 for the afternoon. Second-ranked and No. 1-seeded Alabama finished the day in a tie for second place with No. 8 seed South Alabama with opening scores of 8-over par 296.
Rounding out the top five of the team standings were No. 5 seed Houston and No. 7 seed Tennessee in a tie for fourth place overall with matching scores of at 12-over par 300.
The Tigers wrapped up the round in a tie for seventh place with No. 6 seed Northwestern as they find themselves just three shots out of NCAA Championships qualification at 15-over 303 for the championship. Coastal Carolina posted a team score of 14-over 302 to finish the day alone in sixth place as the No. 9 seed in the tournament.
Sophomore First-Team All-SEC performer Curtis Thompson was the lone Tiger to crack the Top 20 of the leaderboard in the first round as he posted a team-leading 3-over par 75 during Thursday’s action to end the day in a tie for 19th place overall. Thompson was even par on his round through 15 holes, but made bogey on the par-three 16th, par-five 17th and par-four 18th holes for a final score of 3-over 75.
Thompson recently earned his first career All-SEC honor with a first-team selection after emerging as one of the nation’s premier performers during his sophomore season with the Tigers in 2012-13.
Sophomores Stewart Jolly and Myles Lewis and freshman Zach Wright each carded matching rounds of 4-over par 76 to round out the scoring for the Tigers in the first round. The Tiger trio wrapped up the first round in a tie for 32nd place in the individual standings and six shots off the pace set by the early leaders.
Junior Second-Team All-SEC selection Andrew Presley tied for 74th place with his score of 13-over par 85 on the opening day of the tournament.
All-SEC performers Tyler McCumber and TJ Vogel powered the Gators to an early lead as they tied Alabama’s Scott Strohmeyer for first place in the race for the regional title with opening scores of 2-under par 70 on an exceptionally difficult day of scoring at the University Club. Only five of the 75 players in the field broke par on Thursday afternoon.
South Alabama’s Lane Hulse and Houston’s Curtis Reed round out the top five of the leaderboard in a tie for fourth place with their first-round scores of 1-under par 71.
Georgia State’s Jonathan Grey is currently positioned to qualify for the NCAA Championships as an individual as he fired his even-par 72 to finish the day in a tie for sixth place on the leaderboard. The top individual not among the top five teams in the final team standings will earn a spot in the field for the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships in two weeks.
The Tigers are paired with Northwestern and Wichita State in Friday’s second round and will tee off from the back nine beginning at 8 a.m. CT. Golfstat will provide the live scoring for the second and third rounds of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional at www.golfstat.com. Fans can also receive live updates of the Tigers competing throughout the rest of the tournament by following @LSUMensGolf on Twitter.
NCAA BATON ROUGE REGIONAL – FIRST ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 288)
1. Florida 286 -2; T2. Alabama 296 +8; T2. South Alabama 296 +8; T4. Houston 300 +12; T4. Tennessee 300 +12; 6. Coastal Carolina 302 +14; T7. LSU 303 +15; T7. Northwestern 303 +15; 9. Wichita State 304 +16; T10. UAB 308 +20; T10. Southeastern Louisiana 308 +20; 12. Mississippi State 310 +22; 13. Houston Baptist 313 +25.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 72)
T1. Tyler McCumber, Florida, 70 -2; T1. Scott Strohmeyer, Alabama, 70 -2; T1. TJ Vogel, Florida, 70 -2; T4. Lane Hulse, South Alabama, 71 -1; T4. Curtis Reed, Houston, 71 -1; T6. Eric Banks, Florida, 72 E; T6. Hunter Sparks, Wichita State, 72 E; T6. Jonathan Grey, Georgia State, 72 E; T9. Eamon Bradley, Southeastern Louisiana, 73 +1; T9. Oliver Goss, Tennessee, 73 +1; T9. Nicholas Losole, Northwestern, 73 +1; T9. Justin Thomas, Alabama, 73 +1.