May 19, 2005
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The 13th-ranked Tennessee men's golf team fired a 2-under-par 282 during the first round of play at the 2005 NCAA East Regional and currently stands seventh. Play was suspended due to darkness with six teams set to finish the round Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. CST. Ross McGowan stands second in the individual portion after firing a 66 (5-under-par) to lead the Tennessee contingent. The tournament is being played at the Golf Club of Tennessee (par 71, 6,864 yards).
McGowan, a senior, notched his lowest score of the year thanks to a solid round of golf. He opened play on the back nine with birdie on No. 12. He would then card an eagle on 17 before another birdie on 18 to make the turn at 4-under-par. After four straight pars McGowan added two more birdies to his count on holes five and six. His lone mistake of the afternoon came on the eighth hole with a bogey before closing out the round with a par.
David Skinns stands one stroke back of McGowan with a 67. Skinns, a senior and the reigning SEC individual champion, is tied for fifth. His round opened on the back nine with a 2-under-par 33. After birdies on holes 11 and 13, he slipped with a bogey on 16 before regrouping with another birdie on 17. The final nine holes were much the same with three birdies and one bogey to close out the round.
Senior John Scott Rattan added a big lift with a 70 to tie him for 27th. Rattan's round opened with three pars before a birdie on 13. After a double-bogey on 14 he returned to even-par with another birdie on 15. After a third birdie on 17 and making par on 18 he made the turn at 1-under-par. The final nine holes saw him turn in an even-par with a birdie on two and a bogey on four.
Rounding out the Tennessee competitors are freshmen Philip Pettitt and Ben Spickard with scores of 79 and 82, respectively. Pettitt, who is tied for 123rd, struggled to find his rhythm to open the day with five bogeys before an eagle on 17 to make the turn at 3-over-par. The final nine holes saw him continue his struggles with a 5-over-par 41. After firing a 2-over-par 35 on the first nine holes, Spickard slipped on the back nine with a 45 to close out the round tied for 134th.
Leading the tournament is fifth seed and 13th-ranked Wake Forest with a 271 (13-under-par). North Carolina, seeded 15th, stands three strokes back in second with part of its first round still to be played. Top seed and and second-ranked Georgia is third with a 275, while No. 10 seed Georgia State and No. 8 seed and 22nd ranked Alabama round out the top five in fourth and fifth, respectively. Georgia State still has to finish its round, while Alabama fired a 280.
Kyle Reifers of Wake Forest is the individual leader with a 65.
The sixth-seeded Vols will continue their quest for their first trip to the NCAA Championships since 2003 when they tee off in tomorrow's second round of play.