BATON ROUGE, La. – Led by a 4-under-par, 68, from Cooper Musselman, the Kentucky men’s golf team sits in fifth place at the Baton Rouge Regional after the opening round of play on Monday. Musselman’s stellar opening day of play led the way for Cats who as a team fired a 4-over-par, 292, on what seemed to be a challenging first day for most teams at The University Club. Musselman leads all of UK’s individuals and is tied for third overall on the leaderboard.
What head coach Brian Craig is saying:
“I am super proud of these guys. We got off to a slow start and just kept battling. Cooper led the way with a terrific round. The bottom line is that you can lose (the tournament) on the first day, but not win it. We just need to keep competing.”
About the lineup:
Musselman began his fourth sub-70 round of the season with five straight pars before he birdied the par-5 sixth hole. He then carded a par-3 eighth for a staunch 2-under-par 34 on the front nine. From there, the junior did not waste any time getting things started on the back nine. He picked up two birdies on the first two holes of the side and went on to birdie the long par-3, 16th hole, ultimately matching his score on the front nine
Chip McDaniel pieced together a solid front nine as he parred the first four holes before birdieing the next three, which guided him to a 2-under par finish on the first nine holes. UK’s All-American had a couple of mistakes on the back nine, but sits comfortably inside the top 25 and is in a tie for 19th place at 1-over par.
Stephen Stallings rallied from a rough front nine, with a 1-under back nine. He capped the round with a birdie on No. 17 and a par on the 18th to head into day two with positive momentum. Stallings totaled 3-over par in the first round. He is currently tied for 32nd place.
After his score of 76 (+4) today, sophomore Lukas Euler is tied for 43rd and classmate Fred Allen Meyer finished in a tie for 70th.
The Tournament Field:
Only three teams are under par through day one. Host No. 6 LSU leads the field at 12-under par while No. 18 Virginia is in second place at 6-under. Oregon, ranked seventh, shot 1-under and is in third place with No. 19 Duke four shots behind in fourth.
The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals to be played May 26-31 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
In the history of the NCAA Regional, the Wildcats placed fourth in 2016 and 2014, 10th in 2013, ninth in 2009, 17th in 2008, 10th in 2006, fourth in 2005, first in 2004 and sixth in 2003.
About the course:
Designed and overseen by PGA Champion David Toms and Jim Lipe, the University Club provides a test for the some of the best golfers in the country at a long 7,700 yards. This week, the course will play at just over 7,300 yards and Par 72.
The University Club
Baton Rouge, La.
5 Kentucky – 292 (+4)
T3 Cooper Musselman – 68 (-4)
T19 Chip McDaniel – 73 (+1)
T32 Stephen Stallings – 75 (+3)
T43 Lukas Euler – 76 (+4)
T70 Fred Allen Meyer – 85 (+13)