|Vandals atop the leaderboard|
KOHLER, Wis. – The University of Idaho men’s golf team made the most of every opportunity and shot to the top of the leaderboard during the first round of the NCAA Kohler Regional at Blackwolf Run – Meadow Valley.
“We were able to take advantage of some scoring holes on our second nine,” said coach David Nuhn, whose team is tied for the lead with 16th-ranked Florida. Both opened with five-under 283s. No. 10 Florida State is one stroke back at 284 with No. 45 Kent State fourth at 288 and No. 4 Illinois fifth at 289.
“We settled down and did what we do best – finish strong and grind.”
Junior Ryan Porch and sophomore Daniel Sutton were the leaders for Idaho and are among four players tied for the lead with three-under 69s. Sophomore Ian Kim shot an even-par 72 and is tied for 16th, while freshman Jake Scarrow is tied for 27th at one-over 73. Senior Rylee Iacolucci is tied for 62nd with a four-over 76.
The Vandals finished the day as the scoring leader on the par-3s – shooting even par on them. They’re also the birdie leader after combining for 19 – one better than the 18 posted by Florida State and Arkansas State. Porch is tied for the scoring lead on the par-4s after going three-under on them during a bogey-free day, while Sutton is four-under on the par-5s to tie for the lead in that statistical category.
A difference maker, Nuhn said, was on the greens.
“The guys putted really well today,” he said. “I saw a lot of made putts. That’s really going to be a benefit down the road.”
Nuhn said the Vandals’ steady play Monday wasn’t a surprise and it’s a boost going into the next two rounds.
“I have so much belief in these guys’ abilities,” Nuhn said. “What a great day for Vandal golf.”
He said Monday’s positive experiences should translate well over the next 36 holes.
“I’m very optimistic,” he said, “but we’ve got a lot of golf left to go. This is one round; we need two more.”
The top four teams advance to the NCAA Championship, which is May 27-June 1 at the Eugene (Ore.) Country Club.