The University of Alabama men’s golf team made a charge on the back nine of The Reserve at Spanos Park in California to finish the first round of the Stockton Regional in third place at 6-under par Monday.
After getting a feel for the par-72 course on the first nine holes, the entire Crimson Tide team shot 10-under (-8 for the top four scorers that counted toward the overall score) over the final nine.
“Getting off to a solid start in the first round at an NCAA Regional is pivotal, and at the end of the day, that’s exactly what we did,” Alabama coach Jay Seawell said in a release. “I thought we did a great job on the back nine and made a lot of birdies. I’m proud of how we responded after a somewhat slow start and it turned the momentum around in our favor. There’s not a lot of movement when you get to regionals, so we just need to do this same thing each day we are out here.”
Senior Jonathan Hardee got hot with birdies on holes 12-16 to shoot Alabama’s low round of the day at -4. Freshman Davis Shore was right behind him at -3, with junior Davis Riley at even, freshman Wilson Furr at +1 and senior Lee Hodges at +3.
Individually, Hardee was tied for fifth, one stroke off the lead, with Shore tied for 8th.
“I am really proud of both Jonathan (Hardee) and Davis (Shore),” Seawell said. “Jonathan is a senior and has been playing some really good golf as of late. He led us today. He caught fire and made some birdies when we really needed them. It brings the entire team confidence when you have a senior leader that does that. I thought Davis was really good today as well. He was steady throughout the round. I am proud to see the way he has developed throughout the year and is showing why he was one of the top prep players in the nation coming out of high school.”
The field got a good look at how quickly the course can turn on a team with top-seeded LSU struggling through the first round. Early on the No. 6 Tigers had an early lead at -3, only to see the entire team minus one player bogey the 240-yard par-3 eighth hole.
They continued to have trouble on the opening holes of the back nine and finished at +5, well down the team leaderboard.
Unranked Iowa State led the team standings at -10, with No. 43 Kansas second at -7, one stroke ahead of No. 7 Alabama. Only five teams were under par, with No. 31 TCU at -5, and No. 18 Stanford at -3.
Alabama, Iowa State and Kansas will tee off first Tuesday, beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET.
The top five teams from the three-day regional will advance to play at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., on May 25-30.