May 31, 2011
By John Painter
UT Media Relations
STILLWATER, Okla. - Tennessee head coach Jim Kelson knows his Vols certainly let one slip away here Tuesday at the NCAA Men's Golf Championship.
The Vols stumbled to an opening-round score of 20-over-par 308 and are all alone in 27th place.
"There were too many doubles, too many others, too many big scores - it's as simple as that," Kelson said. "The key to this tournament and this course is avoiding those things.
"Today was too nice a day. My guess is that was probably nine (strokes) too many to be able to say we had a decent round, so we've got to play well tomorrow. And we can do that."
Conditions at Karsten Creek Golf Club were benign, certainly by Oklahoma standards, with nearly no wind under sunny skies. But Tennessee carded six double bogeys and two triple bogeys for the day against not nearly enough birdies.
`More Rounds Ahead'
"As tough as the golf course is, it's got to be about advancing the ball when you get in trouble and not make double or higher - that's pretty important," Kelson said. "I think everybody was pretty disappointed. It was not the start we wanted, that's for sure.
"But we've got some more rounds ahead of us."
Tennessee's second crack at Karsten Creek comes Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. Central time on the No. 10 tee. The Vols will be playing once again alongside Ohio State and Arizona State.
Keddie played both nines to 38 strokes. The freshman had birdies at the fourth and seventh holes to help offset four bogeys on the front side. On the back, Keddie again birdied twice - Nos. 11 and 14 - but registered doubles at the difficult 10th and 17th holes.
"It was pretty tough out there," he said. "I was really disappointed to make a couple of doubles on the back, but I did get it going in between. And that was nice, because it shows that you can score out here.
"If you hit a bad shot, you get really punished. But good shots get rewarded with chances. All you've got to do is shoot around even par and you're going to fly up the leaderboard."
Keddie is tied for 75th place.
Porteous was even through five holes when disaster struck in the form of a triple-bogey 7.
"I just hit a bad drive and I should have just hacked out sideways," he said.
The junior followed that with a bogey at No. 7, leading to a front-nine 40. A birdie at the 10th hole helped spark a 1-over 37 on the homeward nine, and Porteous is tied for 90th place.
"It's frustrating," Porteous said. "I hit the ball all right. We've got two more rounds and it's definitely playable out there. You will see people go under par."
Eagle at 18
Wingardh pulled his score two strokes closer to par with a terrific eagle at the closing 18th. He knocked his approach shot within 10 feet on the par-5, 551-yard hole and then made the putt to move into the group at 90th place.
"It felt good," Wingardh said. "I hit a good drive and then a pretty good 4-iron. Then I just really wanted to make that putt. I read it right and it went in the hole, so that felt good. It was a nice finish."
The senior captain shot 38 for his front nine, with three birdies, three bogeys and a double at the par-3 seventh. He then went 5 over par for his first six holes after the break, only to reel in two of those strokes with Tennessee's first eagle of this competition.
"It was similar to Wolf Run in that I struggled a lot," Wingardh said, in reference to last week's regional in Indiana. "I hit a bunch of shots left and just couldn't get it going. But I didn't get down - I wasn't mad or anything out there - I just kept playing.
"I played real well the last three holes. I made a little adjustment and it felt good, so now I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Renwick was standing at 2 over in the fairway at No. 17. But the junior had his only two mishaps of the day, and back-to-back double bogeys left him in a tie for 108th place.
"I had 180 to the pin, anywhere left is in the water and the ball was above my feet," Renwick said. "I guess I didn't want to hook it left and just pushed it out right and it ends up being in a pretty bad place."
To that point, Renwick had managed 12 pars and just three bogeys - one of which was offset by his lone birdie at the par-4 12th hole.
"I was hitting it brilliantly," he said. "I was hitting every shot how I wanted to and then had a bad finish; really bad."
Early Break (of the Club)
Vandeventer was first to tee off for the Vols and his day suffered an early blow when he broke his pitching wedge on the second hole.
"It was kind of an adventure," he said of his birdie-triple bogey start. "I put my tee shot in the trees and it took me a few to get out. Coach (Kelson) brought me another pitching wedge on 13, and luckily I didn't need it until that hole."
The Bristol sophomore scattered five bogeys over the course of his round but then ended the way he started, with a birdie-4 on No. 18.
"I just wanted to finish strong and play it one shot at a time; let's see if we could get one back. And I was able to do that. I played the tee ball really well today and hit a lot of fairways. Hopefully tomorrow, I can get a few putts to role and put up a lower number."
Georgia Tech claimed the first-round team and individual lead with a 5-under-par 283 that was paced by James White's 5-under 67. Next on the team leaderboard were UCLA at 286, Alabama 288 and Texas A&M 28, followed by Illinois, Georgia and Ohio State at 291. Host and top-seeded Oklahoma State is eighth at 292.
The top eight teams after three rounds of stroke play advance to the match play quarterfinals, which begin Friday.
Wednesday's weather forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms and a high of 90 degrees. Winds are expected to be a bit stronger at about 10-15 mph.
Live scoring is available on UTsports.com, via Golfstat.com.
Be sure to check out Golfweek's NCAA Championship coverage, live from Stillwater.
|1.||Georgia Tech||283 (-5)|
|4.||Texas A&M||289 (+1)|
|T-5.||Ohio State||291 (+3)|
|8.||Oklahoma State||292 (+4)|
|9.||Augusta State||294 (+6)|
|T-10.||Kennesaw State||295 (+7)|
|T-10.||San Diego State||295 (+7)|
|T-14.||San Diego||300 (+12)|
|T-18.||Southern California||303 (+15)|
|T-18.||Arizona State||303 (+15)|
|T-21.||Kent State||304 (+16)|
|T-25.||Colorado State||307 (+19)|
|29.||North Carolina State||310 (+22)|
|1.||James White, Georgia Tech||67 (-5)|
|2.||Cameron Peck, Texas A&M||68 (-4)|
|T-3.||Patrick Reed, Augusta State||69 (-3)|
|T-3.||J.J. Spaun, San Diego State||69 (-3)|
|T-5.||Bud Cauley, Alabama||70 (-2)|
|T-5.||Austin Cook, Arkansas||70 (-2)|
|T-5.||Harris English, Georgia||70 (-2)|
|T-5.||Jace Long, Missouri||70 (-2)|
|T-75.||Danny Keddie||76 (+4)|
|T-90.||Garrick Porteous||77 (+5)|
|T-90.||Robin Wingardh||77 (+5)|
|T-108.||Darren Renwick||78 (+6)|
|T-108.||Jay Vandeventer||78 (+6)|