Tigers 10th at NCAA Golf Championship

West LaFayette, Ind.--Par proved to be an elusive number for the top college teams in the first round of the NCAA Men's Golf Championship at the Kampen Course on Wednesday.

Auburn was no exception as the 14th-ranked Tigers found themselves 18-over-par after 18 holes. However, that was good enough to put Coach Mike Griffin's team into a tie for 10th place with UNC-Charlotte, nine strokes off the pace set by cross-town rivals Southern Cal and UCLA.

Long par fours and fives, cool temperatures, high rough and winds challenged the golfers on the first of four days of competition. Unlike the women's championship played last week, there is a 36-hole cut on Thursday so only the top 15 teams will compete on Saturday. The 15th place teams after day one, Texas A&M and San Diego State, are 22-over-par.

Leading the way for Auburn with a three-over-par 75 on Wednesday was senior Gordon Strother. His round included one double bogey, three bogeys and two birdies.

AU's number one player, senior Jay Moseley, finished with a 76. He posted a double bogey, four bogeys and two birdies.

The Tigers also counted a 77 from junior Glenn Northcutt and a 78 from senior Steven Groover. They didn't have to count a 79 from senior Patton Kizzire, who was two over after 12 holes but finished bogey, double bogey, par, par and double bogey on the demanding back nine.

"You lose golf balls in the first cut," Auburn coach Mike Griffin said when discussing how deep the rough is at the Kampen Course. "You lose shoes in the second cut, lose golf bags in the third cut and you better keep an eye on the your first-born on the rest.

"We got off to a great start today as the team was even par through the first 7-8 holes," Griffin added. "Then we lost ground. Everybody lost some ground, though, on this course. The guys are going to be disappointed that they didn't finish off well, but I am proud of them.

"I don't think our numbers were that bad if you take the average scores out here, but if you want to be leading the tournament, we have some work to do," Griffin said. "We have some time to do it."

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