BRADENTON, Fla. — Zach Wright fired a 2-under par 70, and Brandon Pierce had a 1-under par 71, as No. 7-seeded LSU is in fifth in the team standings with a 4-over par 292 after Friday’s opening round at the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships being at Concession Golf Club.
The Tigers dropped to 6-under par for the day and held as much as a three-shot lead at the top of the team standings on their opening nine.
Wright strung together four straight birdies on the par-five 13th, par-three 14th, par-four 15th and par-four 16th holes after teeing off from the 10th tee to start his round. He turned in 3-under par for his round before adding a birdie at the par-four fifth and a pair of bogeys at the par-three fourth and par-three sixth holes to finish his second nine holes with a team-leading score of 70.
Pierce carded four birdies and three bogeys en route to a 1-under 71 in his debut round at the NCAA Championships. He made the turn at even-par for the day as he traded birdies at No. 15 and No. 17 with bogeys at No. 11 and No. 18, but dipped into red figures with birdies at No. 3 and No. 7 around a bogey at No. 4 for a final score of 71.
Wright wrapped up the day in a tie for fifth place on the leaderboard, while Pierce was in a tie for 13th place.
The Tigers are six shots off the pace set by first-round leader Illinois, the only team to break par on Friday with a leading 2-under 286. Georgia had an even-par 288 for second place, while Southern California trailed in third place at 1-over 289 and San Diego State followed in fourth place at 2-over 290.
Each of the 30 teams in the field at this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships are looking to enter the Top 15 of the team standings after 54 holes to earn a spot in the and final round of stroke play to determine the eight-team field advancing to the match play tournament for the national championship.
Illinois’ Thomas Detry and South Florida’s Claudio Correa are the early leaders in the race for the NCAA individual championship after firing matching rounds of 4-under par 68 on the tournament’s opening day.
LSU is paired with No. 8-seeded Oregon and No. 9-seeded Texas Tech in Saturday’s second round and will start the day on hole No. 1 with tee times beginning at 6:50 a.m.