West: San Francisco takes first-round lead
Top team: San Francisco, 7-under 273
Top individuals: Sang Yi (LSU) and Zachary Blair (BYU), 4-under 66
In position: 2. California (276), 3. Stanford (277), T4. Alabama-Birmingham, Central Florida andWichita State (278)
Chasing: 7. Tennessee (280), T8. San Diego State (282), T8. LSU (282)
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SAN FRANCISCO TREAT: San Francisco entered the West Regional as the No. 11 seed, so it was safe to say that the Dons’ opening-round, 7-under 273, was quite the surprise.
San Francisco, ranked No. 54 by Golfweek, was paced by four under-par performances, including 2-under 68 rounds from Matt Miller, Taylor Travis and Ji Hwan Park.
It was a consistent showing across the board for the Dons, who are making their second straight and fourth overall regional appearance.
James Back carded a 69 while Jobin Carlos turned in a 70 to just miss scoring for the team.
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TOP SEEDS CLOSE: Top-seeded California and second-seeded Stanford are within striking distance heading into Friday’s second round.
The Golden Bears, ranked No. 7, shot 4-under and are just three strokes off the lead. Brandon Hagy and Michael Kim are T-3 after each finished the day at 3 under.
Hagy totaled five birdies and an eagle, but a double on the par-3 fourth hole kept him out of the individual lead. Kim was slightly more consistent with four birdies and just one bogey.
The eighth-ranked Cardinal saw its dynamic duo of Patrick Rodgers and Andrew Yun struggle, but still managed a 3-under 277 performance to hold sole possession of third thanks to a 2-under round by Patrick Grimes.
Rodgers, ranked No. 3, shot even par as his opening round was littered with a bogey and two doubles, including one on the par-3 fourth hole. Yun, ranked No. 12, didn’t score for Stanford after finishing at 2-over. Yun shot the back nine at 4 over.
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SHORT SHOTS: Individual leaders Sang Yi of LSU and Zachary Blair of BYU combined for 10 birdies and just two bogeys as they each shot 4-under 66. . . . Pepperdine’s Josh Anderson, playing as an individual, is T-3 with three other golfers after carding a 3-under 67. Anderson and teammate John MacArthur (2-under 68) are two of four individual qualifiers – Blair and UC Irvine’s Allan Jun being the others – in the top 16. . . . Conference USA medalist Greg Eason is T-27 after shooting even par for fourth-seeded Central Florida, which will need big rounds from Eason and Brad Schneider (1-over 71) to make a move. The Knights, ranked No. 22 by Golfweek are T-4 with Alabama-Birmingham and Wichita State at 278. . . . San Diego State (2-over 282) was led by a trio of 2-under performances, as Colin Featherstone, Alex Kang and J.J. Saun each carded even-par 70s for the 14th-ranked Aztecs. . . . After a surprising victory at the Big West Conference Championship, UC Davis shot 13-over and is in last place among the region’s 13 teams.