Overton Under Par at NCAA Central Regional
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Indiana University sophomore Jeff Overton fired a first round 1-under-par 71 Thursday, and is tied for 30th overall in the 141-man field at the NCAA Central Regional.
The Evansville, Ind., native is five shots back of individual leader Jason Moon of North Carolina State, who opened with a first round 6-under-par 66.
Overton began his round on No. 10 at the Colbert Hills Golf Club in Manhattan, Kan., and carded six straight pars.
As his Hoosier coach Mike Mayer pointed though, Overton could have easily been under par at the start.
"On Jeff's first two holes, he hit really good putts from 12 and 10 feet, and just barely missed them," Mayer said. "On his third hole of the day, he put it to four feet up the hill, but just struck it poorly."
But Overton himself was pleased with how he struck all 32 putts on the day. He's just hoping for better luck on Friday.
"If I could have gotten hot with my putter today, or just putted solid, I could have been at least four shots better," said Overton. "I hit the ball really well, today, but my putts just didn't go in."
After his even-par start, Overton found some luck on the par-five 16th, as he carded his first of three birdies on the day. Almost immediately though, he gave the stroke back, bogeying the par-four 18th.
Having gone out in an even-par 36, the Hoosier scoring leader in 2003 caught fire on the front side, with birdies at the second and sixth holes. Unfortunately, Overton would bogey the par-three eighth, his 17th hole of the day, and finish at 1-under-.
It was a day of solid ball striking for Overton, as Mayer noted that of the three greens he missed all day, he didn't miss them by much. Overton also missed just one fairway on the day.
"Jeff really struck the ball well," Mayer said. "The conditions were favorable for scoring and Jeff put himself in the position he needs to be, which is under par. You don't advance from one good round, so he'll need to go out and have another day like today, but just with a little bit more luck."
The lone representative of the Indiana men's golf team, Overton is the first IU individual to advance to NCAA Regional competition since Randy Leen in 1997.
In his two years at IU, Overton recorded the third-lowest season average in school history with a 72.22 this year, and currently holds the best career average of all-time at 73.24. The two-time All-Big Ten honoree also led the Hoosiers to a school record scoring average of 293.70 in 2003, more than two strokes better than the former record of 296.06, set by the 1990-91 team.
Three regional tournaments, encompassing the current nine regions, will be conducted May 15-17. A total of 27 teams and six individuals have been selected for each regional competition with ten teams and two individuals advancing from each regional to the championships finals.
Currently, Overton is tied with Houston's Brett Callas for first among the six individuals whom advanced to the Central Regional.
Overton will tee off Friday morning at 9:09 a.m. CST off of Hole No. 1.
Should Overton qualify for the NCAA Championships, he will compete May 27-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
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