The Colorado men’s golf team had an unusual off day Thursday and found itself tied for 15th place after the first round of “The Goodwin” tournament in Stanford, Calif.
The host and No. 12-ranked Cardinal was the only team to turn in an under-par score, as it totaled a 4-under 280 for the opening round. That was good for a seven-shot lead over No. 36 Washington, which came in with a 3-over 283; with No. 77 SMU in third (4-over 284), top-ranked USC in fourth (5-over 285) and BYU (8-over 288) in fifth.
No. 18 Colorado, playing with its highest ranking since being 14th in the spring of 1981, had its fair share of struggles in winds that were gusting from 17 to 25 mph throughout the day. Handling such conditions has long been a trademark of the team, but the Buffs turned in an 18-over par 298 score; CU was just 2-over after nine, but played the back side at 16-over par, with just two birdies combined.
Things looked promising with four of the five Buffs here making birdie on No. 1 (a 521-yard short par-5), but all were back to even or higher within two holes.
Colorado’s worst previous round of the season was in the third tournament of the year, a 14-over par 302 in the second round of New Mexico’s Tucker Invitational. The 298 Thursday was worse is strokes related to par and the second highest in gross score. Back in September, the Buffs chopped 13 strokes off that 302 in the final round to move into a tie for fifth place.
Senior Ethan Freeman did manage a 1-under 69 on the 6,727-yard, par-70 Stanford University Golf Course to tie for sixth through 18 holes; his round included a stretch where he birdied four straight holes (Nos. 7 through 10). His six birdies overall tied for the second most in the field, and his subpar score was just one of 10 recorded Thursday in the 126-man field.
Junior Spencer Painton was one who opened with a birdie but then endured a triple bogey on the second hole, eventually shooting a 5-over 75 that has him tied for 63rd. He had three birdies, second-most by a Buff, with nine pars and three bogeys aside from the triple.
Senior Jeremy Paul, the team’s stroke average leader (71.1) and who has been under par all three spring tournaments (a combined minus-24) is tied for 81st with a 6-over 76. He never really got untracked, making two birdies and 10 pars against five bogeys and a triple, the latter on the par-3 14th.
Juniors Yannik Paul and John Souza are tied for 99th after carding 8-over par 78s. Both got there in similar fashions, with Paul scoring a birdie and nine pars against seven bogeys and a double, while Souza had 10 pars countered by eight bogeys – and both were 3-over at the turn.