Oct. 14, 2011
BY JOHN PAINTER
JONESBOROUGH - After surviving the extreme windy conditions for most of Friday's first round, Tennessee finally succumbed and dropped into a tie for fifth place here at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at Blackthorn Club.
UT's four scoring players lost seven shots to par over the final four holes to inflate what had been a very promising round all the way to 10-over-par 298. That number trails first-day leader North Carolina State by 11 strokes after the Wolfpack shot Friday's only sub-par round of 1-under 287. This despite wind gusts approaching 30 mph.
"It was just a tough, disappointing finish," Vols head coach Jim Kelson said. "I thought we played pretty well most of the day. We played well for a time but then dropped too many there at the end. We've just got to go out and play well tomorrow."
Except for N.C. State, the Vols are right in the mix. UT trails second-place Virginia (295) by only three strokes, with Missouri and UNC Wilmington (both 296) in between. Tennessee is tied with Memphis and five shots clear of seventh-place Kent State and Louisville (both 303).
Danny Keddie paced the Tennessee scoring with a 1-over 73, followed by Rick Lamb at 74, Garrick Porteous 75 and Marshall Talkington 76. Darren Renwick, playing as an individual, carded 75 and Jay Vandeventer shot 79.
"I'm thinking 1 over is not too bad a round today," said Keddie, who is tied for ninth place. "I'll take it and just be ready to make a few more birdies tomorrow."
"I was in the rough with a flier lie straight into the wind," Keddie said of the 474-yard finishing hole. Tournament directors started all 15 teams on No. 10 for a better flow of play, but that left The Ridges' most difficult hole as the finisher. Friday, No. 9 played just shy of a full stroke over par (+0.94).
"We were trying to judge how much the lie was going to jump and I absolutely nuked a 6-iron," Keddie said. "It went way over the back. But at least I holed a nice putt to get up and down. It was pretty tough to hit it close today with how windy it was, but I was striking it really well."
The sophomore from Lincoln on England's North Sea coastline appreciates how difficult Friday's round was to withstand.
"We've had days like this back home, for sure; but this would still be classed as windy," he said. "You learn to play in it. You've just got to control your ball flight and I thought I did a pretty good job of it today."
"I got off to a bit of a slow start," said Lamb, who is tied for 15th. "I made double bogey on my third hole but played it even from there.
"I'm a little upset with my ball-striking today. I didn't make any course-management mistakes but just didn't hit it as well as I could have. Then again, 74 is pretty good out here today."
Porteous was disappointed with his 3-over 75 despite maintaining a tie for 24th place. The senior played his first nine in 1 under, but shot 4-over 40 on the back despite a birdie at the par-5 eighth.
"I didn't play very well," Porteous said. "It was just one of those days where my putting let me down."
"I played pretty consistently all day but just never got anything to happen for me," Talkington said. "I got a couple of bad breaks coming in and then miss-hit one shot on the last hole and ended up making double.
"You just can't let all this wind and this course get to you, because it will. One mistake can mean two or three shots in a heartbeat. All you can do is go out, have fun and see what happens."
Vandeventer owned Tennessee's consolation prize - par at the closing ninth hole, UT's only par there from its five-man lineup.
"I think it's my first one on that hole in about 10 years," said Vandeventer, who hails from nearby Bristol. "I actually hit the ball really well out here in the wind; I just had too many three-putts on the front. I played well on the back side and held it together. It could have been a lot worse.
"Today, I was going to finish the golf round no matter what the conditions were, what the score was. It's frustrating now looking back because I played the front nine 6 over and that was due to putts. But I'm going to look at the positives and go out tomorrow with my swing and try to do the same thing, only just make a few more putts."
"I'm happy with that; it's a good way to start the weekend off," he said. "I haven't done too great in the first two tournaments this year, so a good solid tournament here will get my confidence up a little bit.
Renwick birdied both par-3s on his first nine en route to an opening 37. He managed eight pars, including one at the ninth, against a lone double bogey coming home and considered it a victory in the trying conditions.
"It was super-windy and really, really tough, and the wind was swirling at times too," Renwick said. "It was just a case of missing in the right places, controlling your ball-flight, keeping your ball down, keeping your emotions in check."
Saturday's second round begins for Tennessee at 11 a.m., with the Vols playing alongside Memphis and UNC Wilmington. Weather conditions call for sunny skies and a high of 67, with winds lessening somewhat to around 15 mph.
Live scoring and a live radio feed are available at Golfstat.com.
|1.||North Carolina State||287 (-1)|
|T-3.||UNC Wilmington||296 (+8)|
|T-7.||Kent State||303 (+15)|
|9.||Wake Forest||304 (+16)|
|T-11.||Virginia Tech||310 (+22)|
|T-13.||East Tennessee State||313 (+25)|
|1.||Mark McMillen, North Carolina State||68 (-4)|
|2.||Chris Selfridge, Toledo||70 (-2)|
|T-3.||Jace Long, Missouri||71 (-1)|
|T-3.||Denny McCarthy, Virginia||71 (-1)|
|T-5.||Albin Choi, North Carolina State||72 (E)|
|T-5.||Michael Kania, Villanova||72 (E)|
|T-5.||Steve Lee, Memphis||72 (E)|
|T-5.||Ben Rusch, Virginia||72 (E)|
|T-9.||Danny Keddie||73 (+1)|
|T-15.||Rick Lamb||74 (+2)|
|T-24.||Garrick Porteous||75 (+3)|
|T-24.||Darren Renwick *||75 (+3)|
|T-32.||Marshall Talkington||76 (+4)|
|T-55.||Jay Vandeventer||79 (+7)|
|*Competing as individual.|