May 28, 2008
The fourth-ranked UCLA men's golf team was tied for the first round lead at the 111th NCAA Championship hosted by Purdue at the Kampen Course in West Lafeyette, Ind.
The Bruins posted a first round score of 297 (+9) on a relatively mild Midwestern day. UCLA was tied with top-ranked USC. Oklahoma State was one shot behind in third place at 298 (+10), followed by Clemson and Kent State in a fourth place tie at 301 (+13). Illinois and Florida were tied for sixth at 302 (+14).
The field will be cut to 15 teams after the third round. The tournament is 72 holes of stroke play.
UCLA senior Kevin Chappell held a one-stroke lead over the field of 123 players. His three-under par 69 led USC's Tim Sluiter and Kent State's David Markle, who were tied for second place. Chappell's score also was nearly 10 shots below the average score of 78.90 over the bruising 7,400-yard layout.
"It's [set up] a lot like a U.S. Open," said one coach.
"I got off to a good start," Chappell said. "My whole goal for the day was to be even par after playing 15 (holes) because with the direction the wind was blowing, I thought that I could get at the last three holes. I just kind of stuck around there all day. I feel like I left a few out there on the par fives on the front side, but I couldn't ask for a better way to start."
Were it not for a bogey at his final hole (the ninth), Chappell would have been four-under for the round. Starting on the back nine, he birdied his first hole, bogeyed his second, and then ran off four straight pars before making a birdie at his seventh hole (No. 16). He played his first nine in one-under 35. On his inward nine, he birdied his first two holes to drop to three-under for the day. Then he moved to four-under with a birdie at his 16th hole (the seventh).
Senior Craig Leslie, junior Erik Flores and freshman Philip Francis all carded scores of 76 (+4) and were tied for 40th. Flores, in particular, had a roller-coaster round, making three double-bogeys, three bogeys, three birdies, and an eagle.
Junior Lucas Lee was seven-over par on the day, shot a 79 and was tied for 87th.
Second round action continues Thursday. The Bruins will tee off from the first hole beginning at 7:47 a.m. EDT.
For the complete results click here.