published Friday, May 20th, 2011

Finishing in rain, Mocs in seventh

The Mocs became mudders in Erie, Colo.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s golf team shot a 3-over-par 291 in the first round of the NCAA Southern Central Regional on Thursday, the last holes in a rainstorm that halted play after the Mocs finished.

The Mocs are in seventh place in relation to par, but two teams in front of them — Colorado State and Texas Christian — will resume first-round play this morning at Colorado National Golf Club.

UTC is two shots behind fifth-place Clemson, which finished its rounds. The top five teams advance to the NCAA championship tournament.

“We played the last few holes in a pretty doggone hard rain,” UTC coach Mark Guhne said over the phone. “I’m surprised at the low team scores because the course played hard. It’s not the hardest course in the world, but it rained, the wind blew all day and it was cold.”

No. 1 Oklahoma State leads the tournament at 12-under 276, followed by Auburn at 280 and Arizona State at 282.

Freshman Chris Robb led UTC with a 2-under 70. UTC started on No. 10 and Robb began with a bogey. He shot 2 over on the back side but strung together four straight birdies on the front side.

“Chris double-bogeyed a par-3 kind of early. Then after that, he settled down and shot 5 under the rest of the day,” Guhne said. “He hit some really good shots, and he really stepped up for us.”

Junior Stephan Jaeger and freshman Benjamin Weilguni each shot 73. Sophomore Steven Fox shot 75 and freshman Davis Bunn had UTC’s drop score.

“We’re right there, a couple shots out of the top five, and we didn’t play our best, but we played pretty solid,” Guhne said. “If we can get better each day, things will take care of themselves.”

Also in Colorado, Georgia senior Harris English, who prepped at Baylor School, shot even for the Bulldogs, who are in 11th place out of 13 teams.

At the Central Regional in Indiana, Tennessee is in sixth place at 3 over and is two shots behind fifth-place Iowa. Former Baylor golfer Jay Vandeventer shot 3 over for the Volunteers. Alabama is one shot off the pace set by Illinois at 7 under at Wolf Run Golf Club outside Indianapolis.

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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