Greensboro, N.C. - Stetson senior Sam Ryder (Longwood, Fla.) shot one under par 71 in the first round of the NCAA Men's Golf Greensboro Regional Thursday at the Grandover Resort's East Course. He is tied for ninth place in the 75-golfer field and currently stands just one stroke off the cut line for advancing to the NCAA Championships.
Going off in the second-to-last group of the day, Ryder birdied the par five second hole and used back-to-back birdies at #7 and #8 to shake off a double bogey on the par four fifth. Six straight pars on holes nine through 15 were temporarily ended with a bogey on the 15th, but Ryder bounced right back with a birdie at the par four 17th to help himself come in at -1.
The top five teams and low individual not on those squads advance to the NCAA Championships. Currently after Round 1 the top five teams are Liberty (-5), SMU (even), Tulsa (+5), UNLV (+5) and Texas Tech (+6). Lamar's MJ Daffue and Campbell's Vaita Guillaume are tied at two under par, just one stroke ahead of Ryder, Louisiana-Lafayette's Brandt Garon and Indiana's Corey Ziedonis for the individual qualifier spot. SMU's Matt Schovee leads the tournament individually at -5, two shots ahead of his Mustangs teammate Harry Higgs and Tulsa's John Young Kim.
"Sam played very well overall; he just got a couple bad breaks from some wet and muddy ground that made him scramble to save pars," Stetson head coach Bob Weickels said. "He could have had a 68 if a few more putts had dropped - he only really hit two errant shots all day. If Sam makes some more putts tomorrow and gets to about -4 he'll be right in the mix."
Ryder will again tee off at 10:10 am in tomorrow's second round; he will go off the 10th tee with Taylor Fuqua (George Washington) and Devin O'Grady (Mount St. Mary's). Live Scoring for the event is at GolfStatResults.com.
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