University of Colorado junior Jeremy Paul continued his stellar spring season with a 4-under-par 68 and a share of the individual lead Monday to help the Buffaloes rally late in the first round of the NCAA Southeast/Tuscaloosa Regional.

Colorado finished the day in seventh place, 12 shots behind leader Georgia but only four shots out of fifth. The top five teams and the top individual not on those teams will advance to the NCAA Championship Finals later this month. Paul was tied with two others for the individual lead with two rounds remaining.

"Jeremy just continued his play this spring, in that he's really been in complete control of his game," CU head coach Roy Edwards said.

No. 5 Georgia leads the 13-team field with a 4-under 284, with No.17 South Carolina the only other school under par, at 287 (-1). No. 32 Kentucky turned in an even-par 288, with No. 29 UNLV (290) and host and No. 19 Alabama rounding out the top five at 292. No. 8 Auburn (294) was sixth, followed by No. 66 CU.

The Buffs started off well, and were 3-under as a team after five holes, but then played the next eight holes at 15-over. However, CU played the last five holes at 4-under to get back in contention.

Paul, the 40th-ranked player in the nation, tamed the challenging Ol' Colony Golf Course as well as anyone. He recorded an eagle, four birdies, 11 pars and just two bogeys on the 7,512-yard, par-72 layout. The average score in the field was high - 75.73 - especially considering the field includes eight teams ranked in the nation's top 44 along with 20 of the top 100 players in the country.


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Only four players shot scores in the 60s, with just 12 under par and another five recording even scores.

"It's a 'big boy' golf course," Edwards said. "Jeremy had a terrific round; 68 out here is a really good score. As a team, we started out poorly, but I am pleased with how the guys saved the round with a strong finish to get back in it."

It was Paul's 18th round in the 60s this season, adding to his own school record.

Senior Philip Juel-Berg, who became just the sixth player in school history to play in four NCAA championships, turned in a 2-over 74, scoring two birdies and 12 pars against four bogeys.

"I think early on we had too many big numbers, a bunch of doubles and a triple," Edwards said. "But we really had a good stretch at the end of the round."

Junior Ethan Freeman endured a triple bogey early on to shoot a 75. At one point he was 5-over, but back-to-back birds on Nos. 5 and 6 got him back to plus-3 as well as aiding the team in its late rally.

Freshman Wilson Belk survived his first NCAA appearance, and in fact opened with a birdie before a rough patch where he had a bogey and three doubles on his next six holes. But he settled down to play the last 11 at just 1-over par and closed with a 7-over 79.

Sophomore John Souza, also appearing in his first NCAA's, struggled to an 8-over 80.

A pair of Georgia golfers are tied with Paul -- Greyson Sigg (ranked No. 31 in the nation) and Zach Healy (No. 64).

Colorado will be paired with the College of Charleston and Lipscomb in the second round and will begin play off the No. 10 tee at 7 a.m. MDT. The third and final round is set for Wednesday.

Southeast Regional

CU INDIVIDUALS

T1. Jeremy Paul................................... 34-34—68

T26. Philip Juel-Berg........................... 37-37—74

T32. Ethan Freeman............................ 36-39—75

T54. Wilson Belk.................................. 37-42—79

T58. John Souza................................... 40-40—80

TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS

T1. Jeremy Paul, Colorado................... 34-34—68

T1. Greyson Sigg, Georgia.................. 34-34—68

T1. Zach Healy, Georgia...................... 35-33—68

4. Michael Johnson, Auburn............... 35-34—69

T5. Four tied.......................................... 70

TEAM SCORES

1. Georgia.................................... 284

2. South Carolina......................... 287

3. Kentucky.................................. 288

4. UNLV....................................... 290

5. Alabama.................................. 292

6. Auburn..................................... 294

7. Colorado.................................. 296

8. Charleston............................... 298

9. Lipscomb................................. 302

10. Kansas..................................... 308

11. Southern Illinois...................... 314

12. Charleston Southern............... 315

12. Harvard.................................... 323