May 27, 2003
Karsten Creek Golf Club, the home course of Oklahoma State University, proved to be a tough venue as the 106th NCAA Men's Golf Championships got under way today in Stillwater, Okla.
None of the 30-team field managed to break par and only 12 players among 156 competitors finished at par or better. The average score today recorded by the field was 78.49.
Host Oklahoma State is in a four-way tie for first-place after shooting an 11-over-par 299 today. The Cowboys are tied with North Carolina State, Clemson and Auburn. Southern California and Duke are one shot back.
Auburn's Lee Williams is the first-round's individual leader coming in with a 3-under-par 69. Lamar's Chris Stroud and Augusta State's Oliver Wilson are one stroke back at 70.
Tennessee, playing in its first NCAA Tournament final since 1997, ended Day 1 in a tie for 27th-place with a 320 (+32).
The 19th-ranked Vols got solid performances from All-SEC performers David Skinns and Ian Parnaby. Skinns shot a 4-over-par 76 to finish the day in a tie for 44th place, while Parnaby carded a 6-over 78 (72nd-place) in today's first round.
Rounding out the Vols' first day scoring were John-Scott Rattan (82) and Andrew Pratt (84). Only a team's top four scores are counted to compile each day's team score.
UT's Ross McGowan, coming off his career-best three round performance with a 4-under-par effort at the NCAA Regionals, shot a disappointing 87 today.
The Vols' top four players today (Skinns, Paranby, Rattan and Pratt) made the turn with a combined 9-over-par score, but combined to shoot 23-over on the back nine.
Tennessee qualified for this year's NCAA Tournament two weeks ago by finishing fourth at the NCAA's East Regional May 15-17. The Vols shot 1-under-par for the three rounds at Auburn's University Club.
The Vols have an early tee time, 9:03 a.m. (EDT), in Wednesday's second round after being one of the last teams to begin today's round.
Karsten Creek, a par-72 course carved out of a mass of blackjack and scrub oak trees, plays at 7,285 yards and is so wooded that players do not see another hole until they get to the 16th green. The course opened in 1994 and was voted best new public course that year by Golf Digest.
This year marks the first time Oklahoma State has hosted the NCAA Tournament since 1973.