KOHLER, Wis. (Seminoles.com) – Led by the senior experience of Hank Lebioda, the second-seeded Florida State Men’s Golf team got off to a good start at the NCAA Golf Regional in Kohler, Wis., on Monday, shooting a 4-under 284 to sit in third place through the first round.
The regional, which is being played at the picturesque Blackwolf Run Meadow Valley Course, is being led by Florida and Idaho at 5-under apiece. With FSU one stroke behind in third, Kent State (even) follows in fourth while top-seeded Illinois (+1) is in fifth place.
After being named the ACC Player of the Year last week, Lebioda backed up his worth praise by shooting a 3-under 69 to lead Florida State and rank among the top individual performers on the day. The Winter Springs, Fla., native exploited his birdie chances on the course’s four par-5 holes, sinking lower scores on three of them.
Lebioda’s five birdies on the day led to his 38th career round in the 60s, including his 10th of the year. He now has 452 career birdies at FSU, just three shy of surpassing current record holder and PGA Tour player Brooks Koepka who had 454 from 2009-12.
“We had really good focus and composure today,” FSU head coach Trey Jones said. “The players were professional and competed well today. We should use this and build confidence and come out Tuesday and execute.”
The Seminoles produced their 18th round this year at par or better, which is the second-most in program history behind last year’s 2014-15 squad (24). On a difficult course in cooler conditions, FSU took what it was given and converted a field-best 59 pars while tying for second with 18 birdies. Only FSU (even) and South Dakota State (even) shot at par or better on the 10 par-4 holes.
All-ACC Team member Cristobal Del Solar also helped FSU with a 1-under 71 on Monday, tying for 11th. The redshirt junior from Chile added three birdies, including two on par-4 holes, while shooting 35 on the front and an even 36 on the back nine.
Senior Rowin Caron and junior Josh Lee each added even-par 72 performances. Caron’s day was eventful with five birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey, but he finished strong with a birdie on the final par-4, 458-yard 18th hole to move FSU up the leaderboard.
Lee added four birdies along with two bogeys and a double bogey, but his birdie on the par-3, 196-yard 15th hole also gave the Seminoles a vital boost.
Freshman Corey Carlson made his NCAA postseason debut and held strong with a 1-over 73. The Green Cove Springs, Fla., native played things pretty safely all day with 15 pars to go along with a birdie and two bogeys.
The Seminoles continue to aim toward their first NCAA Regional title as well as being one of the low five teams that advances to the NCAA Championship in Eugene, Ore., on May 27-June 1. FSU tees off on Tuesday with times yet to be announced.