May 15, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - Opening the 2014 NCAA postseason, the 10th-ranked University of Houston Men's Golf team stood in sixth place with a team score of 290 on Thursday following the First Round of the NCAA Eugene Regional.
Competing on the 6,990-yard, par-70 course at Eugene Country Club, the Cougars overcame a slow start. Houston opened the Regional at a combined +14 on the front nine in its 5-man starting lineup . Those opening nine holes featured a quadruple bogey, five double bogeys and six bogeys.
Fortunately, the team rallied impressively on the back nine, shooting a combined +6 to rise through the standings.
The top-5 teams and the top individual not on a qualifying team will advance to the NCAA Championships, scheduled for May 23-28 at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan. Houston has not competed at the NCAA Championships since 2001.
Junior Kyle Pilgrim led the way for the Cougars at 1-under-par 69. The Colleyville, Texas, native drained four birdies, including two in a 3-hole stretch on the back nine, to stand in a tie for sixth place after the first 18 holes.
Senior Curtis Reed and junior Roman Robledo were tied for 21st after each shooting 72. Making his third straight appearance at an NCAA Regional, Reed posted three birdies in his round, including back-to-back efforts on Nos. 12 and 13.
Robledo, who won three straight individual tournament titles to open the spring season, was the team's steadiest player all day, posting 14 pars and a birdie in his round.
No. 3 Stanford held the First-Round lead at 276 to stand four strokes in front of No. 15. Oklahoma. No. 22 South Carolina and North Florida were tied for third at 286, while host and 40th-ranked Oregon finished fifth at 289. After the Cougars, No. 27 Baylor (294), Chattanooga (295), No. 34 Liberty (295) and Wichita State (295) rounded out the top-10 team leaders.
Individually, Stanford's Patrick Rodgers shot a 4-under-par 66 to stand atop the leaderboard. Chattanooga's Chris Robb and Air Force's Kyle Westmoreland were tied for second at 67, while North Florida's M.J. Maguire and Will Starke of South Carolina were tied for fourth at 68.
This marks Houston's third straight NCAA Regional appearance as a team, a first since 1998-01. In addition, the Cougars' No. 2 seeding marks the highest in school history, topping last season's No. 5 seeding at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.
The NCAA Eugene Regional continues Friday morning and wraps up Saturday afternoon with 18 holes each day. Fans can follow live scoring by visiting Golfstat.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
Friday's Second Round tees off at 9:30 a.m., at Eugene Country Club. Playing in threesomes with North Florida and Oregon, the Cougars will start their day off No. 1 at 10:20 a.m.
Ross begins his day for the Cougars at 10:20 a.m. (CDT) with McClain (10:31 a.m.), Reed (10:42 a.m.), Robledo (10:53 a.m.) and Pilgrim (11:04 a.m.) following.
Fans can receive information about all the participating teams and individual student-athletes by visiting NCAA Eugene Regional Central at GoDucks.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
Fans can receive live scoring updates by following @UHCougarGolf on Twitter and catch up with the latest news and notes on the team by clicking LIKE on the team's Facebook page at HoustonCougarGolf.