TOLEDO, Ohio — Northwestern’s Jonathan Bowers, Illinois’ Scott Langley and North Carolina State’s Matt Hill shot 2-under-par 69s to lead the individual race, while Oklahoma State and Georgia shared the team lead through Tuesday’s opening medal-play round at the NCAA Division I men’s golf championship. Bowers battled showers while shooting his 69 in the morning, while Langley and Hill fought through winds and chilly temperatures in the afternoon at the 7,255-yard Inverness Club.
TCU’s Tom Hoge triple-bogeyed his final hole and shot a 70 along with San Diego’s Alex Ching, UCLA’s Philip Francis, Tennessee’s David Holmes and Washington’s Nick Taylor. Only eight players in the 156-man field broke par.
Top-seeded Oklahoma State, led by Trent Leon’s 71, totaled 4-over 288 and was joined there by Georgia, led by 71s from Russell Henley and Brian Harman.
The Cowboys didn’t count the 74 of Kevin Tway, playing on the same course where his father Bob holed a sand shot on the 72nd hole to stun Greg Norman and win the 1986 PGA Championship.
This is the first year the tournament is being played under a combination medal and match play format. All 30 qualifying teams and the six individual players will compete in three days of medal play. Those 54 holes will determine the medalist and will winnow the field down to a final eight teams for match play. The teams will then play quarterfinal and semifinal matches on Friday, with the championship match set to start at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Chattanooga was a surprising third with 292 strokes, followed by Washington and San Diego with 293, Arizona State, Ohio State and Tennessee with 294, Michigan with 296, and Arkansas and Duke with 297.
At even-par 71 along with Leon, Henley and Harman were UCF’s Simon Ward, Chattanooga’s Fredrik Qvicker, Corey Nagy of Charlotte and Arkansas’ Jamie Marshall.
Hoge was 4 under through 17 holes, but was short-sided in a greenside bunker and twice had his ball roll back at him after shots.
In addition to the PGA Championship in ‘86, Inverness has hosted the ‘93 PGA (Paul Azinger edged Norman in a playoff), U.S. Open in 1920 (Ted Ray), ‘31 (Billy Burke), ‘57 (Dick Mayer) and ‘79 (Hale Irwin), the U.S. Amateur (Craig Stadler) in 1973 and the U.S. Senior Open in 2003 (Bruce Lietzke).