SAN ANTONIO, Texas –Two par-5 eagles by junior Zach Munroe (Charlotte, N.C.) on the 11th and 13th got the College of Charleston men’s golf team off to a great start as it shot an opening-round 3-under par 285 on Thursday at the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Southwest Regional Championship at Briggs Ranch Golf Club.
The Cougars are in second place and four strokes back of No. 6-ranked and top seed Georgia (-7). Munroe is tied for sixth individually with a 2-under 70 followed by freshman William Rainey (Charlotte, N.C.), who turned in his third consecutive under-par round with a 71 and is tied for 11th.
“I thought we were all feeling good yesterday during the practice round,” said Munroe, who has never made two eagles in a round in his golf career. “The wind was switching at times today, but we were able to get off to a good start despite the conditions. Personally, I was up-and-down and at one point, we were at 8-under (as a team). If we can hit the fairway and greens, we will be right there.”
Munroe, who qualified for the U.S. Amateur in 2012 at Cherry Hills Country Club, is competing in his first NCAA Regional, like most of his teammates, and has had some great rounds of golf leading up to the postseason. He tied for eighth at the CAA Championship and third at The Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate. Munroe also turned in a career-low round of 67 at the Mason Rudolph Championship hosted by Vanderbilt.
“I was a little nervous at first, but my start calmed the nerves a little bit, especially after the two eagles in three holes,” he said.
2014 CAA Golfer of the Year John Jonas (Jacksonville, Fla.) and sophomore Josh Lorenzetti (Columbia, S.C.) fired even-par rounds and are tied for 15th, while senior Alex Ellis (Austin, Texas) is tied for 34th at +2.
“We played a solid round like we have all spring,” said CofC Head Coach Mark McEntire whose team’s opening-round 285 tied as the sixth-lowest round of the season. “We have more consistency in our lineup and everyone did their job today. I’m not surprised at our start, because we have been playing well all year.”
Eight Top-50 ranked teams make up the field at the NCAA San Antonio Regional. No. 7 UCF is tied for third with No. 31 SMU at even-par followed by No. 18 UCLA and TCU tied for fifth (+2).
Of the six regional sites around the country, CofC was one of only eight teams to shoot under par on the first day of tournament play along with Georgia, Georgia Tech and Washington out of the NCAA Raleigh Regional, Stanford out of the NCAA Eugene Regional, Oklahoma State, Missouri and Virginia out of the NCAA Columbia Regional and defending national champion Alabama out of the NCAA Auburn Regional.
College of Charleston was the only unranked team of this elite group with six of the eight ranked inside the Top 10.
“Everyone is doing a lot of good things out there,” McEntire said. “We are in a good position and have a chance to be in it on the last day.”
The Cougars will be paired with UGA and UCF in the last group teeing off the first tee tomorrow at 9:10 a.m. (CT) / 10:10 a.m. (ET). Live tournament scoring will be available at: www.Golfstat.com.