PULLMAN, Wash. — Zac Blair shot a 4-under 68 to lead BYU to an 11th-place standing after day one of the NCAA Golf Championships Pullman Regional on Thursday.
Entering its first NCAA regionals since the 2009-10 season, BYU shot an opening round 282 team score at Palouse Ridge Golf Club. At 6-under-par, the Cougars currently stand in 11th place, eight strokes back of fifth place Pacific (-14). The low five teams from each of the six NCAA regional tournaments will advance to the finals in Atlanta, Ga.
"Zac played pretty solid, just didn’t make a lot of putts," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "We had some guys that were playing pretty good that gave up all their birdies. On a day like today, giving up birdies you’re moving backward quick and that’s kind of what happened to us."
No. 1 California leads the tournament through 18 holes after carding an opening round 265 (-23). West Coast Conference foe No. 24 Saint Mary’s stands in second place at 21-under, followed by San Diego State at 18-under par.
Blair had a solid effort for the Cougars, making five birdies and dropping one bogey to finish the day at 4-under-par. He currently stands tied for 18th place, six strokes behind tournament leader Sam Smith (-10) of Southern California.
Freshman Joe Parkinson and junior Jordan Hammer both shot an opening round 71 (-1) to finish tied for 36th place. Both golfers made four birdies on the day, while Hammer eagled his final hole to shave two strokes off his score.
Devon Purser carded an even-par 72 on the day, finishing day one with five birdies and nine pars. The sophomore currently stands tied for 49th place. Junior Justin Keiley made four birdies during his opening round 73 and currently stands tied for 58th place at 1-over-par.
"Even though we’re frustrated a little bit, we can find that extra gear," Brockbank said. "We just have to go have two great rounds now to see if we can make it."
BYU will look to climb its way up the standings during Friday's second round with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. PDT. Follow the NCAA Pullman Regional live on golfstat.com.
T18 Zac Blair, 68, -4
T36 Joe Parkinson, 71, -1
T36 Jordan Hammer, 71, -1
T49 Devon Purser, 72, E
T58 Justin Keiley, 73, +1
1 California, -23
2 Saint Mary's (CA), -21
3 San Diego State, -18
4 Southern California, -16
5 Pacific, -14
T6 TCU, -12
T6 Memphis, -12
T8 Virginia Tech, -11
T8 North Texas, -11
10 Ball State, -7
11 Brigham Young, -6
12 Baylor, +1
13 Princeton, +4
14 St. Francis (Pa.), +12
Chris Scheitinger is a student at Brigham Young University studying Public Relations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org