Feb. 22, 2013
HUMBLE, Texas - University of Houston sophomore Kyle Pilgrim fired a career-best 68 in the opening round of the Bayou City Collegiate Championship on Friday to finish the first day in second place at Redstone Golf Club.
Starting on hole No. 10, the Colleyville, Texas, native birdied three of his first holes and finished the first 18 holes without a bogey. After beginning his back nine on No. 1 with a birdie, Pilgrim - who played as an individual for Houston - drained eight straight pars to stand alone in second place in the individual standings.
Ironically, Texas' Brax McCarthy, Pilgrim's playing partner, topped all players with an opening-round 67 on the 6,982-yard, par-72 course.
"Kyle has been playing great. It was a really hard decision to finalize the lineup, and Kyle was right there," director of golf Jonathan Dismuke said. "He is managing his game well right now and hitting a lot of quality shots. A bogey-free round today was just a great round."
As a team, the Cougars were tied for ninth with Houston Baptist and No. 43 South Carolina at 294. No. 3 Texas led all teams at 285 with No. 37 Baylor checking in one stroke back. Charlotte (289). No. 41 Chattanooga (290), UT Arlington (290), East Carolina (290), Louisiana Tech (291) and UTSA (292) rounded out the top-eight leaders.
The Cougars played well for most of the day but struggled like many other teams on Redstone Golf Club's No. 18 hole. The five members in Houston's starting lineup finished a combined +10 on the final hole, posting two triple bogeys, a double bogey and two bogeys.
No. 18 proved to be the toughest hole during the round, posting an average score of nearly one full stroke above par. Only 30 total players finished at par or better on the 18th hole, while 55 posted bogeys or worse.
While the 18th hole proved a tough challenge for the collegiate players, it can be equally daunting for the professionals, Dismuke said.
"No. 18 traditionally is one of the toughest holes on the PGA Tour. You have to hit two really quality shots, and, today, we played straight into a northeast wind with a very demanding hole location. Championship courses have certain holes that separate players, and No. 18 at Redstone is one of those. We made some bad decisions and had some poor luck at times, and that separated us from having a solid round."
Pilgrim was the only Cougar to shoot par or better. Sophomore Roman Robledo and freshman Vincent Martino were tied for 27th at 73, while juniors Curtis Reed and Wesley McClain and senior Will Dusenbury were tied for 41st at 74. Junior Jesse Droemer was tied for 55th at 76, while junior Bryn Flanagan was tied for 63rd with a 77.
The tournament continues Saturday morning with the Second Round. The Cougars will tee off No. 10, beginning at 10 a.m., Saturday, with Bryn Flanagan. From there, the lineup continues with McClain (10:09 a,m.); Reed (10:18 a.m.); Martino (10:27 a.m.) and Robledo (10:36 a.m.).
Pilgrim (11:30 a.m.), Dusenbury (11:39 a.m.) and Droemer (11:48 a.m.) will tee off later while competing as individuals from the team lineup.