Provided by Texas Tech Athletics
WOODSTOCK, Ga. - Two Texas Tech golfers tied for the team first round low to help the Red Raiders out to an 8-over 288 on Tuesday at the Crabapple Course at Capital City Club in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Championship.
Sophomores Clement Sordet and Esteban Restrepo each birdied the 18th hole on Tuesday to finish off 1-over par 71s. Senior Finley Ewing IV and sophomore Henry Todd both shot 3-over 73 while sophomore Matias Dominguez finished up with an 8-over 78.
Tech is in 22nd place after the first day but just three shots out of 12th place and nine shots out of a tie for 7th.
"I'm disappointed that we didn't finish it a little bit better," Tech head coach Greg Sands said. "But at the same time, the middle of the round was tough for us and we hung in there toward the end on 16, 17 and 18 and made some birdies and that was important to get some momentum going into tomorrow."
The Red Raiders played both the front and back nine at 4-over as Sordet led the charge into the clubhouse with a 2-under 33 on the second nine with three birdies on 11, 12 and 18.
Restrepo played the most consistent golf on the first day, scoring 15 pars, two birdies and three bogeys while hitting 14 of 16 fairways and 15 greens.
"It was a really good day from tee to green," Restrepo said. "I had a lot of birdie opportunities but I need to do better on my putting and lag putting to put myself in better position to not go above par tomorrow."
Tech was 2-under through the first five holes after making three birdies on Nos. 4 and 5 before finding trouble on the last third of the first nine. Tech went 5-over on holes 6-9 before Todd birdied the par-5 12th followed by Sordet's back-to-back birdies on Nos. 11 and 12 to recover three strokes.
"The greens are really firm and not too fast, so if you get the putter rolling you can make a lot of putts," Ewing said. "If we all stay in the short grass there's lots of birdies to be made out there."
Ewing knows what it takes to get a team back into the top half of the championship after being further down the leaderboard following the first day. He was on the 2010 team that made the comeback from 27th place to seventh in two days to qualify for match play before being knocked out by Florida State.
Tech completed a similar comeback in the second round of this year's regional in Ohio. The Red Raiders shot the second round low (4-over 288) to move into a tie for fifth after being in 10th place on the first day.
And with just nine shots separating the top eight from the rest of the field – anything is possible.
"We need to do that again like at regionals," Sands said. "We'll need to play really solid tomorrow to get back into the top eight. But we're positive and energetic about it which is what you want out of your team."
Tech will tee off on No. 10 in the afternoon wave with Ball State and Coastal Carolina beginning at 2 p.m. EST. Todd will lead things off followed in 10-minute intervals by Sordet, Restrepo, Dominguez and Ewing.
You can follow the live scoring updates at www.golfstat.com.