Chattanooga Mocs off the lead at NCAA golf tourney

Chattanooga Mocs off the lead at NCAA golf tourney

May 30th, 2012 by David Uchiyama in Sportscollege

UTC golfer Liam Johnston

Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga golf team shot a 15-over 299 on Tuesday and is tied for 24th after the first round of the NCAA championship at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

"We got off to a really good start and I was feeling good, then we didn't play well over the last six holes," UTC coach Mark Guhne said. "The afternoon is tough, especially on these Poa annua greens -- I'm not making excuses -- so we know that if we go out tomorrow morning and shoot even-par, that ought to put us back in the top 12. If we do that, then we'll have a chance to sneak into the top eight."

The University of Alabama leads at 1 over, and the Crimson Tide is three shots ahead of Florida and Auburn. UCLA and Oklahoma are tied for fourth at 5 over. There are five teams tied for sixth at 6 over.

The top eight teams after three rounds advance to match play to compete for the national championship.

UTC freshman Liam Johnston led the Mocs with an even-par 71 on Tuesday, and he is tied for 13th place individually.

The rest of the Mocs, senior Stephan Jaeger, junior Steven Fox, and sophomores Chris Robb and Davis Bunn each shot 5-over 76s.

"Liam had a great round and he was super," Guhne said, via cell phone. "We had four of a kind, and we didn't need that. We didn't get it done today. If we play all 18, we can move back into contention, and that's the plan."

Anton Arboleda of UCLA leads the medalist race 4-under 67. He leads Corey Conners of Kent State and Tyler McCumber by one.

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6484.