May 16, 2013
BATON ROUGE, La. - University of Houston junior golfer Curtis Reed fired an opening-round 71 Thursday afternoon to lead the Cougars and stand in fourth place after the first day of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional
Starting on hole No. 10, Reed grabbed the individual lead by himself until a double bogey on No. 9 during his final hole of the day. The Castroville, Texas, native began his day with a birdie on the 444-yard, par-4 10th hole and added three more birdies on his front nine on the 7,436-yard, par-72 course at The University Club.
Reed, who was a 2013 All-Conference USA First-Team selection, went on to add two more birdies on No. 5 and No. 7 and tied for fourth with a first-round score of 71.
A year ago, Reed set a Houston single-round record in NCAA Regional play with a 66 in Athens, Ga.
"Curtis played a really solid round," said Houston director of golf and 2013 Conference USA Coach of the Year Jonathan Dismuke. "He got off to a good start and, although he didn't play as well as our last nine holes, he is in good position through the first round."
As a team, the Cougars stood in a tie for fourth with No. 38 Tennessee with a score of 300. No. 10 Florida held the First-Round lead with a team score of 286, while No. 2 Alabama and No. 47 South Alabama each finished with a score of 296 to tie for second.
Following the Cougars and Volunteers, No. 50 Coastal Carolina (302), No. 35 Northwestern (303), host and No. 17 LSU (303), Wichita State (304), UAB (308) and Southeastern Louisiana (308) rounded out the top-11 team leaders.
The top five teams and top individual not from those qualifying teams will advance to the NCAA Championships, slated for May 28 to June 2 on the Crabapple Course at Capital City Club in Atlanta. Houston is looking for its first appearance at the NCAA Championships since 2001.
"The course was very difficult. With the undulating greens here, there were a lot of tough holes," Dismuke said. "We played 16 holes as well as anyone in the field, but unfortunately, we played No. 11 and No. 9 poorly, and that was the difference in contending for the lead after the first day."
As a team, the five-man Houston lineup played the 467-yard, par-4 ninth hole at +9 with two triple bogeys and a double. No. 11 proved to be just as challenging for the Cougars on their second hole of the day with three double-bogeys.
With the exception of those two holes, the Cougars played the remaining 16 holes in a combined +4. Despite the disappointing start, Dismuke found much to be proud of in a resilience his team has displayed all season.
"I am proud of the way that we can back after the second hole," Dismuke said. "To make a couple of double bogeys like that early and then to keep grinding, hang around and play like we did for most of the rest of the round... I am proud of the guys.
Competing in his first NCAA Regional, freshman Vincent Martino was at or under par for most of the day before enduring a triple-bogey on No. 9 on his final hole of the round. With the exception of a birdie on the 365-yard, par-4 15th hole and No. 9, the Southlake, Texas, native finished with pars for the rest of his round.
Junior Wesley McClain, who was named to the All-Conference USA Second Team, was tied for 48th after posting a 77, while 2013 Conference USA individual champion Roman Robledo was tied for 53rd with a 78. Sophomore and C-USA All-Academic Team member Kyle Pilgrim finished the first day in a tie for 58th with a 79.
Individually, Florida teammates Tyler McCumber and T.J. Vogel, along with Alabama's Scott Strohmeyer, were tied for the first-day lead with 70s.
The NCAA Baton Rouge Regional continues Friday morning with the Second Round. The Cougars begin their day off hole No. 1 at 8:20 a.m.
Pilgrim will start the round at 8: 20 a.m., with Robledo (8:30 a.m.), McClain (8:40 a.m.), Martino (8:50 a.m.) and Reed (9 a.m.) following. The Cougars will be paired with student-athletes from No. 38 Tennessee and No. 50 Coastal Carolina.
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