Georgia Southern’s Logan Blondell walks to the 10th fairway during the first round of the NCAA Championship.
Arizona State’s Jesper Kennegard signals his tee shot straying to the right on No. 2. Kennegard shot a 68.
Oklahoma State’s Morgan Hoffmann at No. 10. Hoffmann shot a first round 70.
FSU’s Drew Kittleson, left, and Clemson head coach, Larry Penley, right, watch tee shots at No. 10.
University of North Florida’s head coach, Scott Schroeder talks with his player, J. C. Horne at No. 18. Schroeder had to punch out of the rough for his second shot.
UCLA’s Mario Clemens tees off under the watchful eye of head coach, Derek Freeman at the first tee. UCLA is tied for 16th after Round 1.
LSU’s John Peterson wears his visor upside down while watching his team finish Round 1 on Tuesday. LSU is second to last after Round 1.
Florida’s Bank Vongvanij with head coach Buddy Alexander after hitting in the water at No. 9. The Gators finished Round 1 tied for 7th.
Oklahoma State’s Peter Uihlein leaves No. 10 tee box. The Cowboys are tied with Florida State.
Clemson’s Luke Hopkins signals his ball right at No. 13. Clemson is tied for 5th place after Round 1.
Baylor’s Lorenzo Scotto talks with head coach Greg Priest after his round on Tuesday. Scotto shot a 76.
Illinois’ Scott Langley and Penn State’s Kevin Foley walk past tombstones after teeing off on No. 18.
Duke’s Wes Roach watches his second shot at No. 18. Roach shot a first round 69.
Oregon State’s Diego Velasquez tees off at No. 17.
Tennessee’s Jay Vandeventer prepares to hit off the rocks at No. 9.
OOLTEWAH, Tenn. – Tennessee should be considered a favorite at the NCAA Championship.
Coach Jim Kelson’s squad plays about five times each year at The Honors Course, and he knows where shots can be saved on the golf course.
“Over a three-day period, there are about four shots here or there we know where to miss it,” Kelson said. “There are just a few holes out here that local knowledge could be a huge difference.”
Tennessee’s most recent trip to The Honors Course was interesting. A few weeks ago Kelson brought six players to the course to participate in the annual “Kelson Cup,” a three-on-three Ryder Cup-like event pitting his American players against his European players.
“I think it put them at ease with the surroundings,” Kelson said. “This year our schedule didn’t have a match-play event on it, and I wanted the guys to have that one-on-one experience.”
The Vols played one day of better-ball and two days of singles matches. The score ended in a 4-4 tie, which meant the Europeans retained the Cup.
Tennessee has taken the first step in its quest to winning a national championship – they made it here. Next for the Vols is making it into the top eight. If Tennessee can make it into match play, then we’ll see what home-course advantage is all about.