Every single shot at the NCAA South Central Regional will count for the men's golf teams in contention.
UCLA leads after the first of three rounds after shooting a 4-under-par 284 Thursday at the Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Ky.
The next seven teams all are 10 to 12 shots behind the Bruins but within three of each other, including the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The Mocs are tied with Colorado State for second after shooting a 6-over 294. They lead Clemson, Texas A&M, North Texas and Memphis by one stroke and Virginia Tech by two. The top five teams advance to the NCAA championship tournament.
"I thought things would be spread out a little more," UTC coach Mark Guhne said. "There aren't a lot of places to make a big number but a lot of places to make a bogey. It looks like everybody played pretty good and made [only] a couple of bogeys."
UTC senior Stephan Jaeger is tied for fourth in the medalist race at 2-under 70. He trails Jonathan Fly of Memphis and Pedro Figuiredo of UCLA by two shots and UCLA's Patrick Cantlay by one. UTC sophomore Chris Robb is in a four-way tie for seventh at 72.
"Jaeger played like Jaeger, and Chris played well enough to make me smile," Guhne said. "We have to get just a little bit more out of the other three and we'll be OK."
Junior Steven Fox and sophomore Davis Bunn shot 76s, while freshman Liam Johnston had the drop score of 77 for UTC.
"We still have a lot of work to do, but we have ourselves in a good position," Guhne said. "The course is going to get harder, the greens are going to get firmer, and we have to continue being smart.
"Looks like it will be a shootout all the way to the end."
n Middle Tennessee State shot a 304 in the first round of the Norman, Okla., regional and is in 13th place, 18 shots out of fifth and 25 behind co-leaders Florida State and Texas. Hunter Green from Rhea County led MTSU with a 74; Brett Patterson from McMinnville shot 76.
Contact David Uchiyama at email@example.com or at 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.