Team leader: UCLA (12-under 268)
Individual leader: Dustin Korte, Austin Peay State; Pontus Widegren, UCLA (6-under 64)
In position: 2. Duke (278), 3. Austin Peay State (279), T-4. Georgia (280), T-4. Texas A&M (280), T-4. North Carolina (280), T-4. Clemson (280), T-4. Central Florida (280)
Chasing: 9. Vanderbilt (283), 10. Arizona State (284)
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Team effort carries Bruins
A slow start turned into an exciting finish for No. 4 UCLA, the regional’s top-seeded team. The Bruins’ four scorers played the par-5 17th in a combined 6 under par Thursday. Anton Arboleda made double-eagle by holing out with a 3-wood from about 260 yards. Pontus Widegren, playing in the next group, hit 3-wood to 2 feet to make eagle.
“We didn’t get off to a very fast start, which you can do out here, but we played steady all day long and then ‘boom,’ ” UCLA head coach Derek Freeman said. “That made the difference.”
The Bruins have a 10-shot lead over No. 8 Duke after the first round. Freeman is cautiously optimistic, though: “There’s still a lot of golf left and a lot of good teams here,” he said. “We have to play well two more days.”
Both Widegren (64) and Manav Shah (68) had bogey-free rounds. Widegren had four birdies and his eagle on 17, while Shah made two birdies and 16 pars. UCLA’s four scorers had only four over-par holes. Arboleda’s double eagle was preceded by a double bogey at the par-3 16th; he shot 67. Jonathan Garrick (69) had two bogeys, a double bogey and five birdies. UCLA was the only team to have four sub-70 scores Thursday.
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Austin (Peay) powers
The surprise of the day definitely was No. 90 Austin Peay, which stands third after shooting 1-under 279 in the first round. The Governors were led by Dustin Korte, No. 310 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, who is tied for the first-round lead after shooting 64. Korte had four birdies and an eagle at the par-5 14th hole. Marco Iten shot 68 for Austin Peay, while none of the team’s other three players shot lower than 73. Austin Peay, the 12th-seeded team in the 14-team field, earned its spot by winning the Ohio Valley Conference. The Governors finished no worse than second in six spring starts, including four victories.
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Host Arizona State is in 10th place after shooting 4-over 284 in the first round. Spencer Lawson’s 1-under 69 was the team’s low round. . . . Fresno State’s Rufie Fessler shot 2-under 68 to post the low score among the five individual players who are in the field; none of the other four broke par. Fessler is No. 212 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.