LUBBOCK, TX – Backed by strong opening rounds by Nils Floren and Finley Ewing IV, the 10th-ranked Texas Tech men's golf team opened the NCAA South Central Regional in fourth place after firing a 6-under 282 in Thursday's first round at the Traditions Club in College Station, Texas.
With the Red Raiders needing to finish among the top-five teams to earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Championships, Floren and Ewing's first rounds went a long way to keeping Tech in contention. Floren fired a 4-under 68 to sit in fifth place, while Ewing finished a stroke behind in a tie for sixth place following a 3-under 69.
Chris Ward, the reigning Big 12 Champion, opened with an even-par 72, while Matt Smith and Tyler Weworski completed Tech's card with 1-over and 2-over performances. Ignacio Elvira (Texas A&M), Daniel Jennevret (TCU), Kevin Phelan (North Florida), and Dustin Garza (Wichita State) lead the individual standings after each shot a 6-under 66 first round.
Texas A&M and TCU sit atop the leaderboard at 11-under each, while North Florida leads Tech by two strokes at 8-under. Wichita State finished the round in the fifth and final spot at 5-under, and Pepperdine and Auburn trail closely behind at 2-under and even-par respectively.
"I thought we played a solid round," head coach Greg Sands said. "All five guys were in it to the end, and that is good to see. It was a good start, but we've still got some work to do. We're trying to win the regional, and we've definitely put ourselves in a good position to do so."
Tech will be one of the first groups on the course Friday as the Red Raiders drew an 8:20 a.m. tee time. Fans can keep up with the live scoring via www.golfstat.com.