May 19, 2011
ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (seminoles.com) –
Florida State University junior Brooks Koepka shot a two under par 69 – including an eagle on the 17th hole – and is in a tie for eighth place in the individual standings and the Seminole men’s golf team is in seventh place in the team standings after the first round of the 2011 NCAA Indiana Regional Championship at Wolf Run Golf Course. The Seminoles are only two places and six strokes behind Iowa and the fifth and final position in the team standings with two rounds and 36 holes remaining to be played.
The top five finishing teams in the regional championship will advance to the NCAA Championship finals at Karsten Creek Golf Course at Oklahoma State University May 31-June 5.
After a chilly and overcast start to the round, the sun appeared and the majority of the round was played in very comfortable conditions.
“We put ourselves in a situation where we have to play a good round tomorrow,” said head coach Trey Jones. “On a positive note we did not have our good stuff today and still have an opportunity to catch some teams. I think the more we play this course the better we will get.”
No. 9 ranked Illinois, the Big Ten champion, is the first place in the team standings with four players in the top 15 of the individual standings. The Illini are one stroke ahead of Alabama and Michigan in the battle for the regional team championship. A total of seven players, including No. 6 ranked Bud Cauley of Alabama, are tied for first in the individual standings with three under par score of 68. Florida State’s Koepka is only one stroke out of the individual lead.
As he has throughout his junior season, Koepka played very confident golf in carding his two under par 69. He finished with a team-high tying four birdies including an eagle three on the par five 17th hole and is one stroke out of the individual lead. Koepka (Wellington, Fla.) was never more than one stroke over par despite for bogeys and was minus two on the back nine.
“It was a real grind out there,” said Koepka. “I made some mistake today and the course made me pay for all of them. I felt like I hung in there, was patient and waited for my opportunities to come. Those opportunities came late with the eagle-birdie finish. We are going to me more of those kinds of holes from everybody to finish strong.”
Koepka finished his round better than any golfer in the field as he was three under par on his final two holes. He finished with an eagle three on hole No. 17 and a birdie three on the par four 18th hole. Within a span of two holes he went from one over par to a finishing score of two under par.
Freshman Bjorn Hellgren (Vasteras, Sweden) is in a tie for 27th place as he carded a two over par score of 73. He quickly recovered from a double bogey on his first hole and played even par golf over his final 17 holes. Hellgren finished with four birdies and 10 holes at par to finish second on Florida State’s leaderboard.
Freshman Joaquin Lolas (Lima, Peru) also played well and is in a tie for 35th place as he finished with a three over par score of 74. Lolas also recovered from a tough start with a triple bogey on his first hole to play even par over the final 17 holes of the round. He, too, finished the round with four birdies as he played solid golf in finishing at even par on his back nine. Lolas carded eight consecutive holes at par or better with one birdie in finishing with a 74.
Hellgren and fellow freshman Joaquin Lolas (Lima, Peru) are playing in their first career NCAA Regional Championship.
“Our freshman showed some nerves at the start but settled down and showed a great deal of heart throughout the day,” said Jones.
Senior Drew Kittleson (Scottsdale, Az.) was steaming through the course at two under par after his first 10 holes before playing through a rough stretch of holes. He was six over par on his final eight holes of the afternoon but was able to right himself with score of par on his final three holes of the round.
Florida State will tee off from hole No. 10 in Friday’s second round and will play with Memphis and Indiana. The Seminoles are one stroke ahead of Memphis and two strokes ahead of Indiana. A total of 10 strokes separate the current fifth place team (Iowa) and the current 10th place team (Charlotte).
2011 NCAA Indiana Regional/Par 71/ First Round Florida State Results Wolf Run Golf Club/Zionsville, Ind./May 19-21, 2011 7/14. Florida State 291 T8. Brooks Koepka 69 T27. Bjorn Hellgren 73 T35. Joaquin Lolas 74 T41. Drew Kittleson 75 T66. Wesley Graham 80
2011 NCAA Indiana Regional/Par 71/ First Round Team Results Wolf Run Golf Club/Zionsville, Ind./May 19-21, 2011 1. Illinois 277 8. Memphis 292 T2. Alabama 278 9. Indiana 293 T2. Michigan 278 10. Charlotte 295 4. Stanford 284 T11. Wichita State 301 5. Iowa 285 T11. Wake Forest 301 6. Tennessee 287 13. Missouri Kansas City 312 7. Florida State 291 14. Sacred Heart 319