College golf’s championship season continues this week with men’s Division I regional play at six locations across the country.
Three regions have 13 teams and 10 individuals while the other three have 14 teams and five individuals, with 18 holes of stroke play each day from Monday, May 16 through Wednesday, May 18. The top five teams (30 total) and the low individual not on an advancing team (six total) from each region advance to the NCAA Men’s Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, May 27-June 1.
Below you’ll find a recap, as well as a breakdown of what to watch for from each regional as play concludes from all six sites on day one.
Team leader: Arizona
Individual leader: Chase Sienkiewicz, Arizona
If the cut were today: 1. Arizona, 2. Pepperdine, 3. Texas A&M, 4. Georgia, 5. Oregon State
The hook: Unlike in other regions, a handful of teams were able to pick apart Traditions Golf Club in Bryan, Texas, with each of the top-five teams all under par. Arizona leads the way thanks to individual leader Chase Sienkiewicz’s 7-under 65, but defending national champion Pepperdine isn’t far behind in second.
What to watch for Tuesday: The No. 10 seed in the region, Oregon State is punching a bit above its weight after the opening round, while Tennessee and Kansas stumbled out the gate. Tuesday’s round will say a lot about this region, especially on the individual leaderboard, where 15 players are separated by just five shots.
Team leader: Oklahoma State
Individual leader: Julian Perico, Arkansas
If the cut were today: 1. Oklahoma State, 2. East Tennessee State, 3. San Francisco, 4. Clemson, T-5. Ohio State, Duke, Georgia Tech (playoff)
The hook: The Cowboys were the lone team under par after the first round and deserve all the attention from this region so far. All five players are T-14 or better, with four players inside the top 10. Oklahoma State only made 14 bogeys on Monday, and with 36 holes left looks primed and ready to continue its success in Scottsdale.
What to watch for Tuesday: Can anyone else separate? The top five teams advance and currently 12 teams are within as many shots of a spot in the NCAA Championship. Expect Arkansas to follow its individual leader, Julian Perico, and make a move into contention on Tuesday.
New Haven regional
Team leaders: Wake Forest and North Florida
Individual leader: Piercen Hunt, Illinois
If the cut were today: T-1. Wake Forest, T-1. North Florida, 3. Georgia Southern, 4. Texas Tech, T-5. North Carolina, Illinois (playoff)
The hook: We see you, North Florida and Georgia Southern, we see you. The teams entered the region as the respective 7th and 8th seeds and are at the top half of the leaderboard early on in Connecticut. On the flip side, No. 5 NC State and No. 6 Charlotte are on the business end of the leaderboard (but with plenty of time to recover).
What to watch for Tuesday: Wake Forest and North Florida played the Yale Golf Course like it was their own as both teams are tied for the lead after starting the regional 13 under. You can score at this course, evident by the fact that nine teams are under par, which should set up for an exciting final two rounds of play.
Palm Beach Gardens regional
Team leader: Vanderbilt
Individual leader: 1. Nick Lyerly, North Carolina Greensboro
If the cut were today: 1. Vanderbilt, 2. South Florida, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Davidson College, T-5. Florida, College of Charleston (playoff)
The hook: Shouts out to Vanderbilt for finishing the first round as the only team under par with three players inside the top 10, including Harrison Ott, who sits T-2 and one shot off the lead. But can we talk about Davidson for a minute? The Wildcats entered as the No. 12 seed in the region but currently sit in fourth after the opening 18 holes.
What to watch for Tuesday: Keep an eye on Florida State and Purdue. Both teams are too talented to be as low as they are on the leaderboard and expect one, if not both, to make a move on Tuesday and climb into contention. Sure, Vanderbilt is the lone team under par and five shots clear of second, but there’s a lot of golf left to be played at PGA National.
Team leader: Oklahoma
Individual leaders: J.M. Butler, Auburn; Gene Zeigler, South Carolina
If the cut were today: 1. Oklahoma, 2. South Carolina, T-3. Auburn, T-3. Utah, 5. Texas
The hook: The Sooners have some competition at home with South Carolina just one shot behind in second place. The race for medalist honors is just as tight with a tie at the top and 22 players within five shots.
What to watch for Tuesday: Oh hey there, Utah. How you boys doing? The Utes made some noise with three players T-5 at 3 under in the first round (Blake Tomlinson, Javier Barcos and Tristan Mandur) after entering the regional as the No. 9 seed. There’s also a clear separation between the top five teams and the rest of the pack, but don’t be surprised if Ole Miss or San Diego State make a run.
Team leader: Stanford
Individual leaders: T-1. Barclay Brown, Stanford; Jose Luis Ballester, Arizona State; Henry Shimp, Stanford; Jackson Rivera, USC
If the cut were today: 1. Stanford, 2. Arizona State, 3. Denver, 4. BYU, T-5. LSU, T-5. Liberty
The hook: If you’re in the top five, you’re under par. The usual suspects of Stanford, ASU and LSU are in the mix, but there are some surprises after day one, including the 12-seed Denver, just four shots off the lead.
What to watch for Tuesday: The race for medalist honors is tightly contested and it will be fun to see who separates or joins the mix on Tuesday. Also keep an eye on Washington, who currently sit T-10 despite entering as the No. 2 seed. If anyone is going to make a run up the leaderboard, it’s the Huskies.