TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama’s top-ranked men’s golf team shot 1-under-par 287 to take the opening-round lead at the NCAA Auburn Regional Championship on Thursday at the par-72, 7,254-yard Auburn University Club.
The Crimson Tide has a six-shot lead on second-place Texas, who carded a 5-over round of 293. Host Auburn is third at 6-over 294 with Colorado fourth at 8-over 296. Kennesaw State and Louisville are tied for fifth at 9-over 297. Alabama was the only team in the field to break par and it was 21st round of par or better in 31 circuits this season, which is a school record.
The top five finishers at the NCAA Auburn Regional will advance to the NCAA Championships at Prairie Dunes Country Club on May 23-28 in Hutchinson, Kan. The top two individuals not on a qualifying team will advance to NCAAs as well.
The Crimson Tide were led by seniors Cory Whitsett and Trey Mullinax, who both carded 1-under-par 71s and are tied for fourth place, two shots off the lead Louisville’s Robin Sciot-Siegrist, who fired a 69.
Whitsett got off to a hot start on the front side with a 4-under 32 that included birdies on the second, fourth, fifth and seventh holes. The back nine wasn’t as kind as the Houston native made bogeys on the 11th, 15th and 16th holes. Mullinax shot even on the front before making back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th holes with a bogey on the 16th.
Sophomore Tom Lovelady overcame a double bogey on the ninth hole with two birdies on the back nine for an even-par 72 that leaves him tied for 11th. Bobby Wyatt enters the second round tied for 14th after a 1-over 73. Freshman Robby Shelton’s 3-over 75 was dropped from Alabama’s team total on Thursday, and he is tied for 28th.
Alabama will play with Texas and Auburn in Friday’s second round.