RALEIGH, NC – Led by freshmen Jack Avrit and Zack Kaneshiro, Santa Clara men's golf completed the first day of the NCAA Raleigh Regional tied for fourth at 8-under 276. The top five teams in the three-day tournament will advance to the NCAA Championship, which will be held on May 25-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Both first-year players excelled in the moment with each bettering his low-round of the season by a stroke. Avrit carded a 6-under 65 and Kaneshiro was three-shots back at 3-under 68 on the par-71, 7,273-yard Lonnie Poole Golf Course.
"Anywhere in the top-5 is where we'd like to both start and finish," head coach Rob Miller said.
VIDEO | Jack Avrit of @scugolf discusses his impressive performance during Monday's opening round of the @NCAA Regional at @PackAthletics. The freshman carded a collegiate-best 65 to help the #SCUBroncos sit in a tie for 4th. #StampedeTogether #NCAAGolf pic.twitter.com/kDADGvf1Wf— Santa Clara Broncos (@SCUBroncos) May 15, 2018
The Broncos, ranked No. 52 in the recent Golfstat.com poll, are tied with No. 21 Arizona State, five-shots behind No. 16 Texas, which ended the day at 271. No. 4 Georgia Tech (274) is second with host No. 36 North Carolina State (275) third.
Avrit birdied seven holes on the day with his only blemish being a bogey on the 18th hole. His previous low-round was a 66 at the Saint Mary's Invitational to finish the fall season.
"Great day for Jack," Miller said. "Really spectacular putting out there today. He must have made a couple hundred feet worth of putts. He was really stroking his putter. Hitting the ball well too, obviously, but you have to make putts out here, these greens are not easy."
Avrit finished the day tied for third, only one shot off the pace set by Doug Ghim of Texas and Iona's Justin Burkhamer.
After bogeying the first two holes, Kaneshiro rallied to finish in a ninth-place tie with five other golfers.
"Zack had a nice day," Miller added. "It's really nice for the freshman to get in there and show the older guys how to get it done."
MGOLF | Head coach Rob Miller discusses Monday's opening round at the @NCAA Regional at @PackAthletics which saw @SCUgolf finished tied for 4th (5 shots off lead). The 14 teams continue play Tuesday & Wednesday. #SCUBroncos #StampedeTogether #NCAAGolf pic.twitter.com/EVbrtF39z2— Santa Clara Broncos (@SCUBroncos) May 14, 2018
"We've been relying on the stellar play of Hayden, Matt and Derek all year long," Miller continued. "This is the first time we've gotten that kind of production from the bottom of the order. That's a great sign. If we can get a little more out of Derek, Hayden and Matt like we normally do, we'll really be in good shape."
The Broncos will open the second round teeing off from the No. 10 hole at a scheduled time of 5 a.m. PT. Live scoring is available at Golfstat.com.
Santa Clara 1st Round Individual Results
|T3.||Jack Avrit||65 = 65 (-6)|
|T9.||Zack Kaneshiro||68 = 68 (-3)|
|T34.||Hayden Shieh||71 = 71 (E)|
|T47.||Matt McCarty||72 = 72 (+1)|
|T68.||Derek Ackerman||77 = 77 (+6)|