May 20, 2004
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Led by David Skinns' even-par 70, Tennessee opened play in the NCAA East Golf Regional Thursday at the Yale University Golf Club (par 70, 6,749 yards).
The Vols fired a first-round score of 297 to stand in 13th, one stroke back of No. 16 Wake Forest (296).
Skinns enters Friday's round in a tie for sixth, three strokes off the lead. He opened the round on a good note with a birdie on the first hole, followed by three pars. He then slipped with two bogeys on holes five and six before making par on the next three to make the turn with a 1-over-par 35. Skinns began the final nine with a birdie on 10, followed by two pars and a bogey on 13. Holes 14 through 17 saw him display consistency with four consecutive pars and a birdie on 18 to conclude his opening round.
Freshman Ross Cox is second in Vol scoring with a 5-over-par 75, tying him for 56th. Cox experienced an up-and-down round, as he began the day with a birdie on the first hole, followed by a bogey on two, bringing him back to even par. He would stay even for the next four holes, before another bogey on seven, followed by a birdie on eight. The final nine holes saw him enter at even par, but he struggled with consecutive double bogeys on 11 and 12, followed by a bogey on 13. He ended the round with five straight pars.
Juniors Ross McGowan and John Scott Rattan are tied for 72nd after firing scores of 76. McGowan opened the tournament on the front nine with a 2-over-par 36 that included two bogeys. The final nine saw him bogey the 10th and 15th holes, followed by a double bogey on 18. Rattan's round saw him bogey the second hole, followed by a birdie on four and another bogey on six for a 1-over-par 35 going into the final nine holes. He struggled the remainder of the day with bogeys on 10, 14, 16 and a double bogey on 18 to end the round.
Rounding out the Vol contingent is freshman Tino Wiess in a tie for 97th with a scorecard of 78. Weiss experienced trouble during the first nine holes with bogeys on three, four, six and eight and a double bogey on nine. He got back on track to open the final nine with consecutive birdies on 10 and 11, before a bogey on 13 and a double bogey on 14. He finished the round with pars on 15 through 18.
Florida, the nation's top-ranked team, leads the tournament after the first round. The Gators, who are also the tournament's top seed, fired a 286 to lead the tournament by one stroke over third-ranked Georgia (287). Second-ranked Clemson and Georgia State are in third with scores of 288, while Penn State rounds out the top five with a 290.
Kenneth Fahey of Rhode Island and Bill Haas of Wake Forest share the individual lead with scores of 67 (3-under-par). Camilo Villegas of Florida is one stroke back in third with a 68, while Richard Scott of Georgia and Nathan Smith of Duke are tied for fourth with scores of 69.
The Vols continue regional play Friday with the second round of the tournament.
The top 10 teams from each regional advance to the NCAA Championships June 1-4
at the Homestead's Cascades Course in Hot Springs, Va.