Charlotte opened up the NCAA championship with a 298 (+10) to sit tied for 14th at The Concession Golf Club heading into Saturday’s second round. 28 of the 30 teams in the championship finished over par as the field combined to average 75.56 in Friday’s first round.
“Overall, I thought today was a good team round and a good start,” commented coach Ryan Cabbage. “This golf course is tough. It’ll test you in every aspect. It forces you to drive the ball well, control the ball from the fairways and the greens are unlike any we’ve played all year. That’s why I think today was a good, solid start for our team.”
Riley Davenport is tied for fifth in the 156-player field despite getting off to a bit of a roller coaster start after a saved par on 10, but managed to erase a double bogey on the par-four No.12 with birdies on each side of it.
Thomas Rowland began the grueling 7,483-yard journey around the par 72 layout with four-straight pars before dropping a birdie on the par-three 14th. After three more pars kept in one-under through eight, Rowland couldn’t save par out of the bunker on the par-four 18th to make the turn at even-par 36. Rowland would gain some momentum with two-straight birdies to start one and two but a pair of sixes over the next three holes would send him to one-over with four to play. A final bogey-birdie on his two closing holes would cancel out to his opening round 73 (+1).
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Illinois leads the field after a two-under round of 286 followed by Georgia’s even par 288. The 49ers have the No.15 seed but carry the lowest ranking of the 30 teams and lead five top-ten teams after day one.
Playing with UAB and South Florida, Charlotte will see Davenport begin the day at 8:40 a.m.
▪ Freshman Jake Shuman shot a Duke freshman NCAA championship record three-under 69 to pace Duke to a nine-over 297. The Blue Devils used a strong finish to close the day 13th in the 30-team field.