WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Throughout a 54-hole tournament, there's going to be a stretch of a less than stellar golf at some point.
The Colorado men's team hopes it got that rough stretch out of the way on Monday.
In the first round of the NCAA Central/Purdue Regional at the Kampen Golf Course, the Buffaloes finished in 11th place at 16-over par. With two rounds to play, the Buffs are 12 shots out of the coveted top five, which is needed to advance to the NCAA championship.
"It's just a rough day," CU head coach Roy Edwards said. "We will need to play well tomorrow. If we do that, we'll be right back in it. It certainly is disappointing, though, to not play well today.
"Every tournament you have periods where you're not going to play well. We just happened to have that during the first round today. We fully expect to play well the next two rounds and have it be a happy Wednesday."
UNLV took the first-round lead at 1-under 287, with Illinois and New Mexico tied for second at even-par 288. South Carolina (3-over, 291) is fourth, with Florida, Auburn and Purdue in a fifth-place tie at 4-over.
UNLV's John Oda is the individual leader, at 5-under 67. He has a one-shot lead over Edoardo Lipparelli of Illinois and Trent Wallace of Illinois State.
All the Buffs had their struggles throughout the day. While they avoided big numbers, for the most part, they strung together too many bogeys and not enough birdies on one of the toughest courses in college golf.
"We just didn't do anything really well," Edwards said. "Sometimes when you don't play well, you can kind of save it and have a good putting day, or you hit the ball so well that you can kind of manage the game. We just didn't have anything we could anchor ourselves on to play well."
Yannik Paul and John Souza led the Buffs by both carding 3-over-par 75s. Souza, who went 4-over through his first eight holes, played the last 10 at 1-under.
Senior Ethan Freeman and freshman Victor Bjorlow both finished at 5-over 77, while Spencer Painton finished at 78.
Despite the rough opening round, Edwards said the Buffs had a good practice session on Monday afternoon and will look to attack the course the next two days.
"We need to move on and be focused on what's important, and that's what we're doing," Edwards said.