Oct. 31, 2011
Golfstat.com Live Scoring
Coach Goss Live Tweets (@NUGolf_Live)
SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Day one is complete at the Gifford Collegiate at the CordeValle Resort in San Martin, Calif., where Northwestern has joined a quartet of the nation's top-10 ranked teams for its fall season finale.
Northwestern is in ninth place following an opening round 17-over 372, one shot behind eighth-place No. 5 Stanford, two shots behind seventh-place No. 41 Arizona and three strokes in back of sixth-place Long Beach State. The Wildcats are one shot up on 10th place Coastal Carolina. No. 30 USC leads, followed by No. 10 UCLA, No. 36 Virginia, No. 3 Washington and No. 2 Oregon.
The Gifford Collegiate consists of six-person lineups and five scorers for each team -- the same format used by Gifford host UCLA at the Pac-12 Championships. Typical collegiate events feature five-person lineups with the top four scorers for each school counting toward the team total.
Northwestern was paired with third-ranked Washington Monday, playing in twosomes at the 11-team event. Senior Eric Chun (Ansung City, South Korea/International Christian School), who is ranked 167th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, was paired with WAGR No. 10 Cheng-Tsun Pan while senior Sam Chien (San Diego, Calif./Mt. Carmel) played with WAGR No. 6 Chris Williams. Chun would out-duel Pan Monday by a trio of strokes.
"Conditions are perfect for scoring," head coach Pat Goss tweeted in the morning, before later adding that the weather "went from perfectly calm when we teed off to a decent wind. Need to fight through the later tee time and play a solid back nine."
Northwestern's play largely followed Goss' weather report. The Wildcats moved toward the top of the leaderboard with early birdies Monday before the tough back nine sent NU's scores much higher.
Chun began his day birdie-bogey-birdie, causing Goss to tweet: "love that resolve." Another birdie on No. 6 got Chun to 2-under par on the day before he drove into the hazard on No. 9, leading to a bogey and a front nine 1-under 35. Chun added a fourth birdie at the 13th hole, complementing it with eight back side pars for an opening 2-under 69 that places him eighth in the field. Chun is six shots behind UCLA's World No. 1 Amateur Patrick Cantlay, whom Chun defeated with a runner-up finish at NU's Windon Memorial Classic two weeks ago. Cantlay has a three-shot edge on the field with an opening 8-under 63 after previously playing the CordeValle course at the PGA TOUR's Frys.com Open earlier in October.
Eight of Chun's 13 rounds this season have been at par of better, with five of those scores in the 60s.
Chien started his tournament with a sloppy bogey at No. 1 before recovering with a 7-iron approach to eight feet for birdie on No. 2. He got to 1-under par by hitting a gap wedge from 101 yards on the fourth hole to within three feet for yet another birdie. Chien escaped trouble on No. 5 after he hooked his drive and had to pitch out into the fairway. An eight iron from 162 yards to within a foot allowed him to save par on the hole. Another beautiful gap wedge on the sixth hole led to a third birdie, then he hit a high cut driver on the reachable par-4 eighth hole to eight feet, missing the eagle putt but tapping in to get to 3-under on the day.
Chien started to get into trouble after an errant drive at No. 9 led to a bogey, then he doubled the 13th after driving into the hazard (and getting an assist from Chun, who ran 220 yards back down the hole to show Chien where the ball hit a tree and dropped into the hazard). A beautiful pitch to the proper tier at No. 14 led to a tap-in par, but yet another bogey followed at the 15th. The struggles hit their apex on No. 16 when he flew an 8-iron 180 yards over the green downwind and made several short game mistakes en route to a triple-bogey 6. Chien fought to the very end, carding a birdie on the par-5 18th hole for a 3-over 74 and a 31st-place position in the field.
Freshman Bennett Lavin (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) made back-to-back birdies at Nos. 2 and 3 to quickly find red numbers, though he finished the front side with an even-par 36. After a double-bogey five on the par-3 12th made Lavin 2-over par on the day, he brought it home in 4-over 75 after two more bogeys at Nos. 15 and 16. Lavin is in 41st position as an individual.
Sophomore Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) mirrored his senior teammates when he also bounced back from an early bogey with a birdie at the very next hole. He broke a string of three-straight bogeys from Nos. 6 to 8 with a birdie on the ninth hole (which all five of his teammates bogeyed on Monday), then carded five-straight pars before a bogey at No. 15. He followed with pars at Nos. 16 and 17, but awful trouble on the par-5 finishing hole led to a triple-bogey 8 and a first-round 6-over 77. Perry is in 54th place.
Playing in his first tournament as a member of the Northwestern team lineup, sophomore transfer John Callahan (Hinsdale, Ill./Benet Academy) made birdie on his very first hole before sandwiching bogeys around a birdie at the short eighth hole for an even-par 36 going out. Back-to-back bogeys started Callahan's back nine before he got a shot back at No. 13. He played the final five holes in 5-over par, though, to account for a 6-over 77 to tie him with Perry in 54th place.
Freshman Matthew Negri (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont) had a wild day, alternately carding a triple-bogey 8 on the par-5 third hole and pitching in for an eagle 2 on the short par-4 eighth hole. His front nine featured that triple, a double, two bogeys, two birdies and the eagle for an incredibly eventful 3-over 39 going out. On the back nine, the black numbers won out en route to an 11-over 82, placing him 71st in the standings.
The Gifford Collegiate continues with the second round Tuesday, Nov. 1. Live scoring is available from Golfstat.com while live tweets from the course courtesy of Goss can be found by following @NUGolf_Live.
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