Eugene Regional: Rodgers, Stanford lead
Friday, May 16, 2014
Top team: Stanford (4-under 276)
Top individual: Patrick Rodgers of Stanford (4-under 66)
In position: 2. Oklahoma (even, 280); T-3. South Carolina, North Florida (6-over 286); 5. Oregon (9-over 289); 6. Houston (10-over 290); 7. Baylor (14-over 294).
Chasing: T-8 Chattanooga, Liberty, Wichita State (15-over 295); 11. ETSU (16-over 296); 12. Tennessee (19-over 299); 13. Northern Colorado (27-over 307).
PHOTOS: 2014 NCAA men's regional at Eugene, Ore.
Get a glimpse at the action at college golf's 2014 NCAA men's regional at Eugene, Ore.
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Not His 'A' Game
Patrick Rodgers of Stanford is the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world and he showed why Thursday. With a balky putter early and loose swing off the tee late, Rodgers found a way to shoot a 4-under 66 and take a one-shot lead.
“It was a rough start on the greens, just shaky start, struggled with speed a little bit,” Rodgers said. “Hit some poor putts from short range to start off, but I was really proud of the way I hung in there and I really putted well coming in, which was good.”
The impressive part of Thursday’s first round was that Rodgers still found a way to score with something other than his “A” game, the difference between Rodgers at the beginning of his college career and now with just two events left before the junior turns professional.
“To be able to come out here and compete and contend and win tournaments without your best stuff, that's something that takes a long time to develop and something that college golf has really, really helped me,” Rodgers said. "I had the game where I could win when I was playing well, but I didn't have the game or the mentality to contend when things weren't quite so great. I'm getting better at that and I'm learning how to do that week in and week out.”
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Hanging in there
Danny Keddie is one of the top players on a Tennessee team that came to regionals believing they could advance to the finals. Both Keddie’s and the Vols’ team’s chances to advance took a big hit on the par 3, fifth hole.
The senior from Lincoln, England, was 1-under when he stepped on the fifth tee, but when he walked off to the sixth he was 7 over after recording an 11.
“After it happened, I was just like, well, it's gone, like you made some pretty boneheaded mistakes,’ ” an emotional Keddie said after his round. “But we've got four other guys on the team. Do it for them.”
Keddie would shoot a 8-over 78, but was only 1 over after the disaster of the fifth hole and kept his team in striking distance, 10 shots behind host Oregon in fifth position at 9 over.
“Apart from that one hole today, I was in great shape on almost every hole and I had a lot of chances,” Keddie said. “I didn't really make enough putts today, but I could have been 4 or 5 under easily for the remaining holes. As long as I don't do something stupid like that.”
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North Florida is T-3 in the team standings and relies heavily on M.J. Maguire (2 under, T-4). “I felt definitely felt more comfortable as a junior,” Maguire said. “I had more experience in these type of events and I felt my game was good coming into the event, so I knew if I just stuck to my game plan and just didn’t get ahead of myself I could shoot a good round today.” … Only 10 players out of 75 shot under par Thursday. … The par-3 fifth hole was the most difficult Thursday with a stroke average of 3.65. … Patrick Rodgers will go off Friday morning at 9:59 off the first tee and is paired with Michael Gellerman of Oklahoma and Matthew Will Starke of South Carolina.