The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's golf team took some lumps during its first round of the NCAA West Regional. But the Mocs are still standing with two rounds left to play at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club.
UTC shot a 15-over-par 295 and is tied for eighth place with Liberty after Thursday's results. The top five teams -- and top individual not on an advancing team -- will play in the NCAA championship tournament.
The Mocs are six strokes behind fifth Oregon after 18 holes, and UTC senior Chris Robb is tied for second individually after shooting a 3-under 67.
"We could have played better," UTC coach Mark Guhne said by phone. "We kept ourselves in the tournament. A lot of times this year we put ourselves out on the first day."
He said the goal for today is to get closer to fifth place by shaving strokes instead of teams.
"We have to make a little move," he said. "Six shots can go away in one hole out here."
Junior Liam Johnston shot 73 and freshman Ewan Scott shot 75, leaving one of the 10-over results from freshman Wes Gosselin and senior Davis Bunn as a counting score.
"We have a couple of guys who know what they're capable of," Guhne said, as he laughed at Bunn's last practice shot on the range, which hit a flagstick. "I think they'll all have a better day tomorrow."
Robb, the runner-up in the Southern Conference tournament, shot even par on his first nine holes (the back nine) and made three birdies in his final nine holes Thursday.
"Chris had a great day," Guhne said. "By his own admission, he didn't hit it really well, but he played smart and made some putts."
Third-ranked Stanford leads at 4-under 276, Oklahoma is second at 280 while South Carolina and North Florida are tied for third at 286. East Tennessee State is in 11th place at 296, and Tennessee is 12th in the 13-team field at 299.
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP