PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. (University of Memphis) – The University of Memphis golf team posted a 299 (+15) on the first day of the NCAA Championship and currently sits in a four-way tie for 26th position. Jonathan Fly led the Tigers with an even-par 71 and is tied for 12th place individually.
“We didn’t play very well today,” Memphis head coach Grant Robbins said. “We struggled a little on our back nine when the wind picked up. We just need to stay patient and put up a good round tomorrow.”
The Tigers got off to a strong start and found themselves in the lead early in the day. Jonathan Fly went as low as 2-under-par, and Steve Lee was at 1-under-par before conditions toughened. Memphis was 1-under-par as a team with players on holes eight through 12 and had a brief four-stroke lead over a pack of teams.
Grant Milner posted a 2-over-par 73 in the first round at Riviera Country Club and is in a tie for 48th position. Steve Lee’s two double bogeys in the final nine holes forced him to post a 5-over-par 76 to grab a share of 112th. Jack Belote and Will Pearson are tied for 142nd after turning in 79s on day one.
This is the first appearance for Memphis in the NCAA Championship since 1988 when All-American Steve Metz led the Tigers. Memphis finished 28th that year.
Riviera Country Club is a par 71, 7,013-yard championship golf course located in the Pacific Palisades community within greater Los Angeles. The course has hosted the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open (also known as the Los Angeles Open) in addition to the 1948 U.S. Open. Riviera has also hosted the PGA Championship in 1983 and 1995.
The 30 teams, five from each of the six regional sites, will play 54 holes of stroke play at Riviera. At the end of the 54 holes, an individual champion will be crowned and only the top eight teams will advance to a match play playoff.
The eight teams will play a straight match play competition with the number one team after 54 holes of stroke play facing the number eight team, number seven will play number two, number six will play number three and number four will face number five. The winners advance to the Final Four. Then, the two winners will play for the national championship on the final day.
Each match will be worth one point. A match that is tied after 18 holes will be awarded a half-point. If the team score is tied after the completion of all five matches, a playoff using the combined strokes of all five players from an extra hole will decide the winner. If there still is a tie, the playoff would continue to another hole until there is a winner.
This is the fourth appearance in NCAA postseason play for Memphis and is the first time advancing to the NCAA Championships since moving to the regional format. Tigers finished tied for 20th at the 2008 NCAA East Regional at Council Fire Golf Club in Chattanooga, Tenn. Robbins was named 2008 C-USA Coach of the Year during that season. Last season, Memphis finished in 11th position at the NCAA Central-Indiana Regional.
Memphis' best accomplishment in the NCAA Championship came in 1955, when former Tiger golfer Hillman Robbins won the individual title. Robbins led the 1954-55 Tigers to a 9-2 match record and was named as an alternate to the Walker Cup Team.
Augusta State won the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship, and captured its second consecutive national title. Augusta State defeated Georgia 3-2 in the final round of match play competition. At the end of three rounds of stroke play, LSU’s John Peterson shot a 5-under-par 211 to capture the individual title. The tournament was held at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla.