Oct. 16, 2011
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - While it has been plagued at times with slow starts, the University of Houston golf team made certain that was never an issue during Sunday's opening round at the Lone Star Invitational.
The Cougars fired a team score of 9-under-par 279 to stand only five strokes behind No. 16 New Mexico through the first 18 holes on the 7,258-yard, par-72 course at Briggs Ranch Golf Club. Four student-athletes in the Cougars' starting lineup finished at even par or lower.
"We did a lot of things really well. It's really important to get off to good starts. When we play well in the beginning, we have some solid tournaments. That was great to see today," said head coach Jonathan Dismuke, who is in his third year with the program. "It's fun to play a round like that, when everything is going well."
Freshman Roman Robledo led the way for the Cougars with a sparkling career-best 66. The Harlingen, Texas, native posted only one bogey in a round that featured seven birdies. After scoring a par on his opening hole, Robledo birdied the next two holes. Following two more pars, he added his third and fourth birdies through the first seven holes.
Robledo open his back nine with two pars and his lone bogey and then drained three straight birdies on the 13th, 14th and 15th holes. He closed his round with three consecutive pars to post the Cougars' lowest since Jordan Irwin finished with a 66 during the second round of the Augusta State Invitational on March 31, 2007.
"Roman has a big-time game. His ball-striking is really good, but he just had an all-around solid day," Dismuke said. "He putted the ball great and was never out of position. He made it look easy."
Sophomore Curtis Reed posted four birdies with only two bogeys during a 2-under-par 70 to tie for 14th. Sophomore Jesse Droemer was a model of consistency throughout the day, rattling of 17 straight pars before ending his first round with a birdie on the par-4 18th hole.
Junior James Ross overcame a double bogey on the par-4 16th hole and capped his day with a birdie to finish at even-par 72 and tie for 23rd.
"It was a great all-around performance by everyone. Curtis and James and Jesse were all very solid. Throughout the day, they were always in touch with a solid round," Dismuke said.
No. 34 Arizona (281), No. 18 Baylor (283) and Texas State (284) rounded out the top-five team leaders. On the individual leaderboard, New Mexico's John Catlin led all players with an 8-under par 64, while Baylor's Joakim Mikkelsen was tied with Robledo at 66. Three players were tied for fourth at 68.
The tournament continues off holes No. 1 and No. 10 at 8:30 a.m., Monday, with the final 18 holes teeing off at 8 a.m., Tuesday.
As his team prepares for Monday's second round, Dismuke said he and assistant coach Chris Hill would continue to stress their game plan heading into the tournament. As impressive as Sunday's opening round was, it won't have any effect on the team's preparations for the final 36 holes.
"We really don't ever change our message. It just boils down to execution for us. Our message stays the same. Keep doing the things we do well, no matter how we play," Dismuke said. "We clearly define what we want to do in our practice rounds and before the tournaments. It's just a matter of going out and executing."