It was a solid opening day for the Colorado men’s golf team at the NCAA Central Regional.
The Buffaloes finished the opening round of the three-round tournament on Monday in fifth place in the team standings, while Hunter Swanson and Justin Biwer positioned themselves well ahead of the curve on the individual leaderboard at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla.
Swanson finished the first round in a six-way tie for sixth at 3-under par 69, just three strokes behind the two opening day leaders, Nick Dunlap of Alabama and Drew Goodman of the host Sooners. Biwer technically finished the opening round in a tie for 12th, but he is only one stroke behind Swanson and four behind the leaders going into Tuesday’s second round.
CU posted a team mark of 284, one stroke behind fourth-place Duke and only one ahead of sixth-place North Florida. Texas Tech (278), Oklahoma (279) and Alabama (281) topped the first day team standings.
CU’s Dylan McDermott posted an even-par 72, with Jack Holland one stroke behind at 73. Tucker Clark finished with a plus-5 77.
Swanson recorded three birdies and an eagle, completing the par-4 third hole in just two shots. After completing the first nine holes at 4-under Swanson played even on every hole on the back nine except for a bogey on No. 17. Swanson’s score was the second-best by a CU freshman in regional play in program history.
Biwer posted four birdies, all on the front nine, against a pair of bogeys.
McDermott enjoyed a mostly steady round and went into the final four holes at 1-under before suffering bogeys on No. 15 and 17. McDermott then rallied for the last of his three birdies on No. 18. The four players who scored for the Buffs recorded just nine bogeys, which was only one fewer than Alabama and matched Texas Tech.
The top five teams will advance to the NCAA Championship in two weeks in Scottsdale, Ariz., along with the highest finishing individual not on one of those schools.
“Generally, a good start to the tournament,” CU head coach Roy Edwards said in a release. “We came out ready to play. The back nine is a little tougher than the front so we are proud of the way the guys played those holes. Hunter had a really nice round. Justin and Jack were solid. Dylan was off his game a bit and battled with a great birdie to finish the day. We need Tucker, but we’re confident that he will get it going (Tuesday). He hit a lot of good shots and finished his round well with two birdies.”
NCAA Central Regional
Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club (par 72)
Team standings — Texas Tech 278, Oklahoma 279, Alabama 281, Duke 283, Colorado 284, North Florida 285, Kansas 288, LSU 292, Ole Miss 293, Princeton 293, Wake Forest 294, UNC-Wilmington 296, Louisiana 297, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 313.
Colorado individual results
T-6. Hunter Swanson -3 (69)
T-12. Justin Biwer -2 (70)
T-25. Dylan McDermott E (72)
T-35. Jack Holland +1 (73)
T-63. Tucker Clark +5 (77)