Auburn (Ala.) Regional: Alabama leads by six
Individual leader: Robin Sciot-Siegrist, Louisville (3-under 69)
Team leader: Alabama (1-under 287)
In position: 2. Texas (293); 3. Auburn (294); 4. Colorado (296); T-5. Kennesaw State, Louisville (297)
Chasing: 7. North Carolina-Greensboro (298); 8. BYU (299); T-9. UC Davis, Sam Houston State (300)
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In the not surprising category, Alabama is in first after a chilly, windy first round at the NCAA Auburn (Ala.) Regional.
The Crimson Tide, No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, was the only team to finish under par Thursday.
“I thought it was a really tough day,” head coach Jay Seawell said. “Under par on this golf course today is a good day.”
Seawell said that no extra pressure was added to the team this week, being the No. 1 seed at the regional and for a majority of the season, to advance to the NCAA Championship in Hutchinson, Kan., but he did feel the team was “little bit tight” during the first round. He added: “We weren’t as fluid as I hoped we could be.”
“I think we go out and just play our games. I don’t think we try to do anything different,” Trey Mullinax said. “It’s just another tournament, another tournament we’re trying to win. We have the upmost confidence in our guys.”
Senior leadership played a key role for the Tide as seniors Mullinax and Cory Whitsett led the team with 1-under 71s on the par-72 Auburn University Club.
The team also counted Tom Lovelady’s 72 and Bobby Wyatt’s 73.
But for the first time this season, freshman Robby Shelton, the No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, shot the high round of the day for the Tide and his score did not count toward the team total.
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Auburn senior Niclas Carlsson showed why home-course advantage is definitely an edge.
Carlsson, a senior from Sweden, admitted that he has never seen the course like this before.
After a torrential downpour Wednesday afternoon into the early morning in Auburn, the course played long and wet, so there was no roll to the ball. Also, the winds had moved in from the north, which rarely happens, making lines off the tee or into the green different.
Luckily for Carlsson and his teammates, the 21st-ranked team in the Golfweek rankings adjusted quickly knowing the course a lot better than the other teams.
The Tigers are in third place, seven shots back of Alabama.
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One mistake on the par-4 11th led to a bogey for Robin Sciot-Siegrist, which set him apart from a near flawless round.
The sophomore from Rueil-Malmaison, France, led the Cardinals with a 3-under 69 at the Auburn University Club during Thursday’s first round of the NCAA regional.
“I think my experience in the regional last year helped me out today,” Sciot-Siegrist said. “I didn’t hit the ball as good as usual . . . I just need to play the same way like I did today and I should be great.”
Last year, Sciot-Siegrist played in the Columbus (Ohio) Regional as an individual and finished in a tie for 51st.
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No. 2 seed Virginia Tech shot a 13-over 301 at the 7,254-yard course in Auburn, Ala. It was the team’s highest tournament round of the season. … New Mexico, No. 22 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, shot a first-round 14-over 302 and is sitting in 12th place. … Austin Peay State’s Marco Iten was leading through 17 holes, but double bogeyed his last hole (No. 9) to shoot 1-under 71 (T-4).