Feb. 22, 2013
HUMBLE, Texas – A strong front-nine put Rice University men’s golf in good shape, but a very challenging final nine holes took its toll on the Owls as the squad fell back to 15th place with a 21-over par 309 at Redstone Golf Club’s tournament course.
Head coach Justin Emil assessed his team’s play following the round, saying “We had some tough conditions coming down the stretch today that got the best of us. There’s a lot of golf ahead on the weekend and a chance to get some of those shots back.”
James Lee led the Owls and tied in 55th place with a 76 (+4). The freshman started out with a 11 pars and a birdie on the opening 12 holes to pace Rice at the event.
Landon Michelson turned in a 77 (+5) after scoring one birdie to tie in 63rd.
Jeff Wibawa and Brock Wilson each finished one stroke back on the opening day with a 78 (+6) in 70th place. Wibawa birdied three of his first five holes while Wilson carded a pair of birdies on the opening five.
Joe Beck III improved four strokes from the front nine to the back to land in 85th place at 82 (+10).
Competing individually, Tommy Economou finished the day in 41st place with a 74 (+2). The sophomore carded eight pars and four birdies on Friday. Trey Johnson tied for 82nd at 81 (+9) after carding one birdie and shooting par on seven of the final nine holes.
The Owls stand 10 strokes behind 14th-place New Mexico State and just three more behind Indiana with two rounds remaining. Texas leads the field with a 285 (-3), one stroke ahead of Baylor. Charlotte ranks third with a 289 (+1), one stroke up on three teams tied for fourth.
Co-host Houston tied with South Carolina and Houston Baptist for ninth place at 294 (+6).
Texas’ Brax McCarthy shot a 67 (-5) to hold a one-stroke advantage on Houston’s Kyle Pilgrim for the individual medal.
Round two begins on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at the first and 10th holes. The Owls tee off on the 10th hole beginning at 10:45 a.m.