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TOP TEAM: Florida State (6-under 278)
TOP INDIVIDUAL: Sean Crocker, USC (7-under 64)
IN POSITION: USC (280), Alabama (283), Kent State (287), Texas A&M (287)
CHASING: San Diego State (290), Penn State (290), Marquette (291), Michigan (292)
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FLORIDA STATE FLOURISHES: A squad from out east is in front, as the fourth-seeded Seminoles move out to a two-shot lead thanks to a 6-under 278 at Aldarra Golf Club. Florida State thrived Monday thanks to the two-headed monster of Josh Lee (second, 4 under) and Cristobal Del Solar (T-6, 2 under), but also because of balance. All five Seminoles starters are in the top 30, with no round worse than 2-over 73 on a day where just three teams broke par. Florida State finished fourth at the ACC Championship and has not won this season. But the Seminoles have finished top-four in for of their last five starts, with two of those finishes being runners-up showings.
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HUSKIES FLOUNDER EARLY AS HOSTS: Washington is this regional’s No. 5 seed and serving as host for this event, so the team was right in line to advance. That vision took a hit Monday. The Huskies opened in 11-over 295 to find themselves in 10th and eight back of the current cutline to move on. This is somewhat of a surprise, too, from a team that had been so steady down the stretch of the spring. Washington went T3, T4, fifth, fifth, T3 in its five starts before this event. The good news is the team has 36 holes left to show that form and battle back for a spot. The Huskies will just need more firepower from their group over the coming days. Nobody shot worse than 75 in the first round for Washington, but the best anyone could muster was a 73 for a T-27 (Corey Pereira, Carl Yuan). Let’s give the hosts a chance to rebound.
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SHORT SHOTS: No. 1 seed USC is in prime position in solo second at 4 under. The Trojans also boast the individual leader, with Sean Crocker three ahead thanks to a 7-under 64. … Alabama may be one of the most dangerous teams in the nation. The Crimson Tide is a monster of a 6 seed, as the team was in danger of falling victim to the .500 rule in the spring before rebounding with a string of high finishes to rocket into the postseason. That trend continued Monday as Alabama posted a 1-under 283 to sit solo third. … The top five spots to advance are almost all chalk so far, as second-seeded Kent State and third-seeded Texas A&M are T-4 at 3 over. … Nick Carlson (T-3, 3 under) helps Michigan stay in it early, as the 10th-seeded Wolverines are ninth at 8 over. … Michigan’s Kyle Mueller is also in the top 15 (T-14, Even par) with some help from a magical result. Mueller posted an albatross at the par-5 12th (his third hole of the day) to get his round jump started. The 2 on the 516-yard hole boosted Mueller to 3 under early. He would play his final 15 holes in 3 over, but that albatross is a rare result and gave Mueller the cushion to be in good position through 18 holes . … Bryant’s Ryan Brown made a hole-in-one at the par-3 second. That boosted him to 3 under through two. From there, not much went right. Brown ended the day with a 76, and Bryant sits 14th (and last) at 29 over. Still, what a tournament to have an ace.