June 1, 2004
The second-ranked UCLA men's golf team struggled against par in the first round of the 107th NCAA Men's Golf Championships at The Cascades Course at The Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA.
The Bruins posted their worst round of the year, a nine-over par score of 289, and trail first-place California by 10 shots. The Golden Bears, led by Jeff Hood's blistering 65, posted a one-under par score of 279 and lead the 30-team field by one shot.
The Cascades Course is playing to a par of 70 over 6,679 yards.
BYU is second at even par 280, followed by third place TCU at 281. Kentucky, the Central Regional champion, is tied for fourth with Auburn at 283.
The Bruins are tied with Penn State, Washington and Georgia Tech.
The Bruins battled par all day long. At one point they were as high as 11-over and as low as five over. By the end of the round, two players - John Merrick and Roy Moon - had battled back to one-over par, while two others - Steve Conway and John Poucher - couldn't get a handle on their scores.
Only senior Travis Johnson managed to beat par. He fired a one-under par score of 69 and is tied for sixth place. Johnson was coasting at three-under par before consecutive bogeys at his 16th and 17th holes lost two shots to par.
Merrick was four-over par through 10 holes, but reeled off three straight birdies on holes 5-7 (his 14th-16th) and finished with a 71. Moon, four-over through five holes, dropped a birdie putt on his eighth hole for an outward 38, and then played his back nine in two-under for a 71. Both players are tied for 30th.
Conway, five-over after four holes, reeled off three straight birdies to post an outward 37 (+2). But he played the back nine in six-over par without a birdie for a 78, which the Bruins were forced to count. He is tied for 141st.
Poucher, who won the Fall Preview at this course in September, managed just one birdie on a card that featured eight bogeys and a double-bogey on his first hole. His 79 is tied for 148th.
Second round action of this 72-hole event continues on Wednesday.
For complete results, click here.