TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The whipping winds of the Sooner State were expected, and they came with plenty of force in the first round of the NCAA Golf Norman Regional at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla.
The fourth-seeded Florida State Men’s Golf team battled its way to a 5-over 293 on the day, ending the first round tied for sixth with two more rounds left to play on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Top 5 teams of the 14-team Norman Regional advance to the NCAA Championship Finals, something FSU has accomplished each of the last six years.
“We pride ourselves in getting better as the round and week progresses,” FSU head coach Trey Jones said. “We will be ready for tomorrow.”
The post-season experience of junior Corey Carlson paid dividends for the Seminoles. The Green Cove Springs, Fla., native is tied for 16th at even par, managing to record three birdies opposite of three bogeys. He took advantage of two of the course’s four par-5 holes with birdies, including the 600-yard eighth hole that proved to be huge.
Carlson, along the rest of the Seminoles, began the day on the par-4, 322-yard 10th hole. He shot a 35 on the back nine, recording pars in his first eight holes before going under par on the 586-yard 18th. He finished with a 37 on the front nine.
Freshman John Pak’s even-par showing was also big for FSU, as he stepped up mightily in his first taste of NCAA post-season action. The ACC Freshman of the Year birdied a difficult par-3, 260-yard hole on the 15th to highlight his round. Sitting at 1-over with just two holes left, Pak also exploited the par-5 eighth hole before cleaning up with a par on hole No. 9.
Junior Bennett Baker mustered a 2-over 74 on Monday, sitting tied for 28th. The Tallahassee native and Chiles High School product finished his round in style by recording a birdie on the 435-yard ninth hole to elevate Florida State a spot higher in the leaderboard.
The challenge of the course conditions was evident in that host Oklahoma (-5) was the only team to shoot under par as it leads the field. Auburn, Arkansas and UNF are tied for second at even-par, followed by San Diego State (+2) in fifth.
UMKC is tied with FSU in sixth at 5-over, followed by Nevada (+6) in eighth, Pepperdine (+7) and BYU (+7) tied for ninth, Virginia (+9) in 11th, Sam Houston State (+13), Prairie View A&M (+27) and Navy (+33).
Sophomore Jamie Li is tied for 36th at 3-over, scoring a birdie on Hole No. 1 which proved to be the toughest hole of the day at 472 yards (par 4). Fifteen of the 18 holes played were over par on average by the field.
Redshirt senior Harry Ellis is tied for 64th at 7-over.
Tee times for Tuesday’s second round will be determined later Monday.