Tigers Sixth After First Day At NCAA Regional

A solid first day has Auburn in good position after day one of the NCAA Men's Golf Regional.

Alpharetta, Ga.--Junior All-SEC Patton Kizzire fired a 1-under 71 and junior Steven Groover carded an even-par 72 as the 11thth-seeded Auburn men's golf team is tied for sixth with a 5-over 293 after the NCAA East Regional first round at the 7,017-yard Lakeside Course at The Golf Club of Georgia Thursday in Alpharetta. The top 10 teams in the 27-team field of the three-day, 54-hole tournament advance to the NCAA Championship.

Tenth-ranked Georgia Tech is in first at 4-under 284 followed by No. 1 Georgia (286), No. 24 Duke (288), Georgia State (289), No. 7 Florida (290), Auburn (293), No. 11 Clemson (293), Maryland (295), Charlotte (296) and Penn State (297) to round out the top 10.

Auburn's 293 was its lowest opening round score in the East Regional since a 287 in 1998. Coach Mike Griffin says he's pleased with his team's play after day one.

"It is one of our better opening rounds in a while on a tough golf course in a tough field," Griffin says. "It was a good board day and I really liked the way our guys finished off the round with three birdies with Jay, Jamie and Glenn.

"Patton played well all day," he adds. "He is a little disappointed because he didn't have some putts go in, but he played well."

Central Florida and Chattanooga are tied for 11th at 299. No. 12 Coastal Carolina, Eastern Michigan and No.25 Florida State are tied for 13th at 300 followed by Jacksonville State (303), UAB (304), Virginia Tech (304), No. 23 North Carolina (305), Ole Miss (309), Longwood (309), Louisiana-Lafayette (309), Old Dominion (314), Boston College (315), St. John's (316), Rhode Island (321) and Hartford (321).

After bogeying No. 11, the second hole of the round, Kizzire had three-straight birdies at Nos. 14, 15 and 16 to make the turn at two-under. He bogeyed the par-5 first hole to put him at one-under. The reigning SEC Champion is tied for eighth and is four shots behind individual leader Cameron Tringale of Georgia Tech at 5-under 67. Tech's Chesson Hadley is a shot behind at 68 and is in second.

"I hit a lot of good shots today," Kizzire said. "The conditions were good today. The course is tough but I played well. I didn't hit any putts but I feel good about today and hope to carry it over to the next two rounds.

"It is a good start for us," he adds. "It is a three day tournament and I feel good about our game on this course, but it is a pretty good start."

Playing in just his second tournament of the year, Groover made the turn at one-over, then birdied holes 1 and 3 to get it to one-under. After bogeys on holes 5 and 8, the Birmingham, Ala., native closed the day with a birdie on the par-5 ninth and is tied for 15th at even-par.

"It feels good shooting a good number, but I didn't play my best golf by any means," Groover says. "I look to the next two days and hopefully will hit it better.

"It is a good start because everybody played solid. We put ourselves in position after the first day and two more days like this and we can win the thing really and truly."

Juniors Jamie Bowen and Jay Moseley are tied for 51st at three-over 76. Bowen was five-over with three to play, but birdied the seventh and ninth to finish strong. Sophomore All-SEC Glenn Northcutt is tied for 79th after carding a 77.

Auburn tees off in Friday's second round at 7:05 am Central on the No. 1 tee with Ole Miss and Duke. Live scoring of all three NCAA Regionals is available at www.golfstat.com.

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