Gaugert Tied For First After Day One at Erin Hills
Oct. 6, 2013
By Dan Pfeifer
ERIN, Wis. - Marquette sophomore Zach Gaugert shot a 4-under-par 68 Saturday to finish in a tie for first place on the first day of the Marquette-hosted Erin Hills Intercollegiate.
Gaugert rode a hot start to the career-best round, scoring birdie on three of the first four holes. A tap-in on the 18th finished off Gaugert's seventh birdie of the day and his third on the course's four par-fives.
"There's a lot of golf left and anything can happen," Gaugert said. "I just want to go out tomorrow and keep doing what I did today, keeping the ball in play making some putts."
Gaugert was among the early finishers who played the par-72 course in ideal conditions. Rain subsided before dawn and left soft greens under sunny skies for the first groups out. Those who started in the middle of the day dealt with increased cloud cover, cooler temperatures and stronger winds.
No. 8 Stanford rode the play of junior Patrick Rodgers and senior Cameron Wilson to an 8-under-par 280 and the top of the team leaderboard. Rodgers, the fourth-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), joined Gaugert at 4-under, along with senior Harry Higgs from No. 22 SMU. Wilson, rated the third-best player in NCAA Division I competition in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, finished one back of the leaders at 3-under.
As a team, Marquette finished in a logjam of schools separated by just one stroke, all jockeying for fourth behind Stanford, No. 3 UCLA and SMU. The Golden Eagles collectively shot a 2-over 290, tying them with Oklahoma for seventh place in the 14-team tournament and putting them one stroke behind Michigan, Northwestern and Oregon State, all tied for fourth at 1-over. UCLA and SMU finished tied for second with a 2-under 286.
For Marquette, sophomore Nick Nelson led the way with an opening round 2-under 70. Sophomore C.J. Swift carded the first of six eagles in the opening round, all on the par-5, 586-yard 14th hole, but double-bogeyed the final hole to finish at even par. Sophomore Pat Sanchez and freshman Henry Klongland each had a 2-over 74, while Corey Konieczki had a three-over 75. Gaugert score did not count among Marquette's team total, as he was not named to the team's tournament roster and is playing as an unattached individual.
Northwestern freshman Matt Fitzpatrick, reigning U.S. Amateur champion and the top-ranked golfer in the WAGR, parred every hole on the front nine and finished 1-under, three strokes behind the leaders. Sixteen of the 81 players competing finished the round under par.
Play will continue with tomorrow's second of three-scheduled rounds. The first group will tee off at 8:30 a.m. CDT. Temperatures are expected to reach 61 degrees with a chance of morning showers. Spectators are welcome and admission is free.