May 16, 2013
The third-ranked UCLA men's golf team has set the pace after the opening round of the NCAA Men's Golf Regional Championship in Tempe, AZ with a 12-under par score of 268 to assume a 10-shot lead.
Sparked by senior Pontus Widegren's first round 64 (-6), the Bruins took the early lead at the Arizona State Kartsen Golf Course. UCLA's team score of 268 (-12) was its lowest of the season and 10 shots better than runner-up Duke (278, -2). Austin Peay State was third at 279 (-1), followed by Georgia, Texas A&M, North Carolina, Clemson and Central Florida in a tie for fourth at even par 280.
After 54 holes, the top five teams advance to the NCAA Championship at the Crabapple Course in Atlanta, GA.
Widegren, a First-Team All-Pac-12 selection, had a bogey-free round that included an eagle 3 at the par 5 17th. He tied the lowest score of his career, though not in relation to par, and was tied for first place at six-under par with Austin Peay State's Dustin Korte.
Not to be outdone was junior Anton Arboleda, who tied for third place recently at the Pac-12 Championship. Arboleda was sailing along at two-under par until a double bogey at the par 3 16th brought him back to level par.
"I just told myself that I was hitting my targets all day, and there was no reason I couldn't make birdies on my last two holes," said Arboleda.
What happened next was the memory of a lifetime. Arboleda split the fair with his drive at the par 5 17th.
"That drive was one of my best all day, just left of center and I had a pretty good lie in the fairway," he recalled.
From 265 yards, he hit a three-wood into a slight crosswind.
"I struck it well," he said. "The wind moved it a little off my target, but I got a good bounce in front of the green and it rolled onto the green into the cup. It was pretty cool."
The double eagle was the first of Arboleda's career and moved him to three-under par on the round. He made par at the 18th and signed for a 67 (-3) and was tied for fourth.
Third-year sophomore Manav Shah posted a cool 68 (-2) and was tied for sixth and freshman Jonathan Garrick was tied for 17th after carding a 69 (-1). Senior Pedro Figueiredo was tied for 28th at 71 (+1).
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