Indiana Leads by 17, Hoosiers Sit 1-2-3 at Pinehurst Intercollegiate
March 16, 2008
PINEHURST, N.C. - Looking to defend its championship at the Pinehurst Intercollegiate, the 26th-ranked Indiana men's golf team is off to a pretty good start. The Hoosiers posted the only score under par in the field and opened up a 17-shot lead over VCU and Ball State following a 2-under 286 in the opening round Sunday.
"We just got off to a really solid start," Indiana head coach Mike Mayer said. "Conditions were tough today, and we put together one of the best rounds I have ever seen as a head coach. Our No. 5 player, Ren Han, really jump-started this team with his outstanding play.
"This round was a culmination of the hard work we put in all week down here. It really was a special round of golf for this team."
Three Hoosier players sit in the top three spots on the leaderboard with junior Seth Brandon pacing the 100-player field. Brandon shot a 3-under-par 69 and holds a one-shot lead over Han. The Dalton, Ga., native carded six birdies in his round, including two on the finishing holes.
"Seth is coming off an injury that really slowed him in our last tournament," Mayer said. "He is fully recovered and turned in a great round of golf under these conditions."
Han, a true freshman playing in just his second tournament, is at 2-under. He birdied three of his first seven holes before falling back to even par entering the par-5 17th, where his sank a 25-foot putt for an eagle three. Han's round is a career low and he has improved his score each of the four rounds he has played in this spring.
"We knew Ren could play some golf and we were just waiting for it to come. His time has now come. We expect to see more of the same kind of play from Ren the final two rounds," Mayer said.
Right behind the top two Hoosiers is junior Jorge Campillo. The 57th-ranked player in the country shot a 1-under-par 71 and shares third place with St. Mary's (Calif.) Mike McRae. Campillo, like Brandon and Han, took advantage of the 17th and posted a birdie to get in red numbers.
Along with the aforementioned trio, junior Drew Allenspach ended the opening day with a 4-over 76. Allenspach, who is playing in his seventh straight tournament this season, shares 18th place with seven other golfers.
Closing out the five-man lineup, sophomore Alex Martin struggled to an 82 and is in a tie for 77th place.
Additionally, three Hoosiers made the trip as individuals and hold the top-three individual slots. Senior Santiago Quirarte closed with a 78 and is tied for 39th place.
Indiana and East Carolina host the annual event at The Centennial Pinehurst No. 8. The 19-team field, which includes Big Ten rivals No. 17 Penn State and No. 43 Wisconsin, faces a challenging par-72 course with a 7,035 yardage.
IU will look to extend its lead in round two of the 54-hole tournament on Monday. Tee times will kick off at 9 a.m. EDT. Live scoring at the Pinehurst Intercollegiate is available through www.golfstat.com.
Check back soon