NORMAN, Okla. – The Sam Houston State men’s golf team kicked off the 2018 NCAA Norman Regional on Monday, firing a 13-over par 301 in the opening round at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.
Blustery conditions made things tough on the par-72 layout with just one team, host No. 3 Oklahoma, firing under par on the day at -5. The Bearkats currently sit in 12th place, four shots back of Virginia.
Auburn, Arkansas and North Florida all turned in scores of even par, five back of the Sooners. San Diego State sits two shots back of that group at +2 while Florida State and UMKC are at +5.
“We fought hard today in tough conditions,” head coach Brandt Kieschnick said after the opening round. “I was proud of the guys fight and our score doesn’t indicate how we played. We had a tough start and then play good in the middle of the round but then finished giving some shots away.”
“We are still in this tournament and we will put together a game plan to get back into contention.”
William Holcomb paced the Kats with a 2-over par 74 and is tied for 28th overall after 18 hoes of the 54-hole competition. He shot +1 on each nine, scoring three birdies on the day.
Jake McCrory turned in a +3 score of 75 with a tough double bogey at the par-4 ninth hampering an otherwise steady day that saw him fire in three birdies of his own.
Austen Christiansen and Levi Valadez each finished with 4-over park 76s to finish off the Kats’ scoring cards for round one. A pair of birdies helped Christiansen stand at even par after his opening nine, and got a shot back after a pair of double bogeys on his second nine with a birdie on No. 8. Meanwhile, Valdez made the turn at +5 before firing a 1-under par 35 on his second nine.
Noah Steele also finished with an 81, putting him +9 for the day.
The Bearkats will try to make a move on Day 2 of the regional on Tuesday with Steele set to tee off at 8:55 a.m. to begin play for Sam Houston. They will be paired up with Virginia and BYU.