Tigers struggle in NCAA opening round

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(Pacific Palisades, CA)-The University of Memphis golf team posted a 299 (+15) on the first day of the NCAA Championship and currently sits in a four-way tie for 26th position. Jonathan Fly led the Tigers with an even-par 71 and is tied for 12th place individually.

“We didn’t play very well today,” Memphis head coach Grant Robbins said. “We struggled a little on our back nine when the wind picked up. We just need to stay patient and put up a good round tomorrow.”

The Tigers got off to a strong start and found themselves in the lead early in the day. Jonathan Fly went as low as 2-under-par and Steve Lee was at 1-under-par before conditions toughened. Memphis was 1-under-par as a team with players on holes eight through 12 and had a brief four-stroke lead over a pack of teams.

Grant Milner posted a 2-over-par 73 in the first round at Riviera Country Club and is in a tie for 48th position. Steve Lee’s two double bogeys in the final nine holes forced him to post a 5-over-par 76 to grab a share of 112th. Jack Belote and Will Pearson are tied for 142nd after turning in 79’s on day one.

This is the first appearance for Memphis in the NCAA Championships since 1988 when All-American Steve Metz led the Tigers. Memphis finished 28th that year.

Riviera Country Club is a par 71, 7,013-yard championship golf course located in the Pacific Palisades community within greater Los Angeles. The course has hosted the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open (also known as the Los Angeles Open) in addition to the 1948 U.S. Open. Riveiera has also hosted the PGA Championship in 1983 and 1995.

30 teams – five from each of the six regional sites – will play 54 holes of stroke play at Riviera. At the end of the 54 holes, an individual champion will be crowned and only the top eight teams will advance to a match play playoff.

The eight teams will play a straight match play competition with the number one team after 54 holes of stroke play facing the number-eight team, number-seven will play number-two, number-six will play number-three and number-four will face number-five. The winners advance to the Final Four, then the two winners will play for the national championship on the final day.

Each match will be worth one point. A match that is tied after 18 holes will be awarded a half-point. If the team score is tied after the completion of all five matches, a playoff using the combined strokes of all five players from an extra hole will decide the winner. If there still is a tie, the playoff would continue to another hole until there is a winner.