Golf 10th Through Round One at NCAA Regional
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- The Marquette University men's golf team ended the first day of action at the Noblesville Regional of the 2015 NCAA Men's Golf Championship tied for 10th place with a team score of 18-over-par 306.
The Golden Eagles played with New Mexico State and East Carolina, which also posted an 18-over-par 306, and will play with the same grouping in tomorrow's second round beginning at 7:55 a.m. Central time on the 10th hole.
"We got off to a solid start and had everyone in the game early on," Marquette head coach Steve Bailey said. "The final holes on the back nine were a tough stretch and some bigger numbers took the wind out of our sail."
The Marquette lineup shot a combined even-par through the day's first five holes (10-through-14) with five birdies offsetting five bogies, but would go on to shoot 12-over-par on the next three holes with a pair of double bogeys and one triple.
Redshirt junior CJ Swift paced the 12th-seeded Golden Eagles on the day with an even-par 72 and closed his round with a 2-under-par 34 on the front nine to tie for 14th. Swift's mark matched three others, including fellow BIG EAST Conference golfer Jose Montano of Xavier.
"It was one heck of a finish for CJ," Bailey said. "I am proud of the way he battled back with birdies on three of his last six to shoot even overall."
Following a bogey after the turn on No. 1, Swift finished 3-under the rest of the way with birdies on the fourth, sixth and eighth holes. The score is the second-lowest first round total of the season for the New Canaan, Connecticut native, who previously carded a 71 in the first round of the Bridgestone Golf Collegiate on Oct. 25 as MU's top finisher.
Junior Nick Nelson followed Swift on the leaderboard with a 4-over-par 76 after playing par golf on the back nine to begin the day with a birdie on No. 15 and a bogey on No. 17. The 17th proved to be a tough one for the Golden Eagles as four of Marquette's five golfers shot over par on the 235-yard par-3 with Thomas the lone player to salvage par.
Nelson was the lone MU player to sit par-or-better on the back nine with the team's only birdie on the par-four 15th hole. He is tied for 41st with four others.
BIG EAST co-champion Patrick Sanchez finished the day with a five-over-par 77. He was able to string together consecutive birdies on 13 and 14 after a bogey on No. 11, but posted a double on No. 16 to move back over par and closed the afternoon by shooting 3-over-par on the front nine.
The Golden Eagles were 9-over-par after the first nine holes with Nelson at par, Sanchez 2-over, Swift 3-over and Thomas at 4-over.
Freshman Trevor Thomas, who carded an 11-over-par 83 on Thursday, will be MU's first on the 10th tee box again on Friday at 7:55 a.m. CT.
"Our goal is to go out and win the day tomorrow and hopefully put ourselves in position to compete for an NCAA finals spot on Saturday," Bailey said.
The top five teams at the regional advance to the NCAA Championship and the Golden Eagles sit 11 strokes back of fifth place at the end of the day Thursday.
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