Top team: TCU, 6-under 278
Top individual: Julien Brun (TCU), Joakim Mikkelsen (Baylor) and Anthony Paolucci (USC), 4-under 67
In position: 2. Kent State (286), T-3. Kennesaw State and Virginia (287), 5. Oregon (288)
Chasing: 6. USC (289), T-7. Oklahoma State and North Carolina State (290)
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LEAVING EVERYONE ELSE IN THE DUST: TCU blew away the competion in the first round of the NCAA Central Regional. The Horned Frogs, ranked No. 41 in the Golfweek/Sagarin college rankings, were the only team to shoot under par on Thursday, shooting 6-under 278 to lead by eight strokes over Kent State, ranked No. 17.
Last year, TCU was just one shot short of forcing a playoff at the NCAA West Regional for a chance to compete in the Championship for the third consecutive season. This year’s squad, the No. 8 seed, has their eye on advancing to the Championship.
Freshman Julien Brun leads TCU at 4-under 67. Brun’s bogey-free round marks his eight consecutive round below par. He was 1 under on the front nine but carded three birdies on the back to put himself into a share of the individual lead.
Showing they’re not afraid to go low, all of TCU’s competitors shot par or better. Daniel Jennevret and Thomas Mantovanini shot 1-under 70 to share a tie for eighth with Tyler Duncan of Purdue, Mackenzie Hughes of Kent State, Paul McNamara and Max Scodro of Notre Dame and Patrick Winther of Oklahoma State.
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DIGGING ITSELF A HOLE: Oklahoma State, ranked No. 27, has a lot of work to do if it wants to extend its NCAA Championship streak. The Cowboys have played in 65 consecutive NCAA Championships dating since 1947 – this year could be an unprecedented 66th try. However, they’re tied for seventh after the first round of regionals.
With a team score of 6-over 290, this “team to beat” in the past couple years is now 12 strokes off the lead after the first round. The Cowboy’s record this year, 66-64-3, barely made the team eligible for postseason.
Patrick Winther was the only member of the squad to break par, shooting 1-under 70.
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SHORT SHOTS: Brun shares the individual lead with with Joakim Mikkelsen of Baylor and Anthony Paolucci of USC. . . . Kent State, ranked No. 17, enters the tournament on a hot streak, with five team wins this season, including a 40-shot victory at the MAC Championship, which was the widest margin of victory by any conference champion in 2012. . . . The No. 21-ranked Virginia is tied for third with Kennesaw State, ranked No. 43. . . . Top-seeded USC came in sixth at 5-over 289.