#ASunMGolf Champ UNF Leader; Figueroa Leads Individuals

Thursday, May 16, 2013

MACON, Ga. – A-Sun Men's Golf Champion UNF highlighted day one of NCAA Regional action, blistering the Golden Eagle Golf & Country Club course with a 272 (-16) en route to a first-round lead in Tallahassee, Fla.

The No. 19 Ospreys lead No. 6 Washington by four strokes and host No. 14 Florida State by five. UNF also finished ahead of No. 43 Oregon (280) and No. 7 Georgia Tech (280) as they round out the top five.

This is the second year that UNF has gotten off to an impressive start in NCAA Regional play, as last year the Ospreys fired a 271 (-13) to open at the Southeastern Regional in Athens, Ga. UNF finished third in the regional and advanced to the NCAA Championship, in which it finished in a tie for 12th.

Today's round of 272 is the second-best single-round score by an A-Sun team, bested only by last year's 271. It is the best single round in relation to par in A-Sun history and also the second-lowest score in relation to par posted by a team in NCAA Regional play in the last two years, trailing only Alabama's 269 in the same regional. The Athens regional round was one of two rounds of 271 for UNF last season, as the other came in a tournament victory at the Gary Koch Invitational.

The seven-under-par 65 is a career best for Maguire, topping the 66 (-5) he fired in the first round of the Southeastern Regional last year. Maguire impressively maneuvered his way around the Golden Eagle course, playing a bogey-free round while carding an eagle and five birdies. He was one of only four players in the first round to score par or better on every hole.

Maguire seems to be playing his best golf at the right time for the Ospreys, as he has shot par or better in five of his last seven rounds, incuding today's 66 and a pair of 68s. He also has finished in the top 10 of his last three tournaments, including a win at the A-Sun Championship two weeks ago.

Two other Ospreys joined Maguire in the top 20, as seniors Kevin Phelan and A-Sun Player of the Year Sean Dale shot 68 and 69 to finish tied for sixth and tied for 14th, respectively. Taylor Hancock also finished in the top 20 with a two-under-par 70, and Joey Petronio is tied for 43rd with a 73.


 Atlantic Sun Insider: What a Difference a Year Makes for UNF's MJ Maguire


For the trio playing in its first NCAA Regional competition, FGCU's Edward Figueroa led the charge. Ignited by three birdies in his first four holes and an eagle on the par-5, 532-yard 18th hole to close out his first NCAA Championship round, the freshman carded a four-under 68 to sit in a tie for sixth.
 
Figueroa matched his three-under start over the first four holes by playing his final four of the day at three-under, finishing the day with six birdies. He sits three strokes back of Maguire. The A-Sun Freshman of the Year, Figueroa is tied for third among the individuals not on teams in the advancing top five spots, sitting one stroke back. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams will advance to the NCAA Championships.
 
Figueroa’s eighth under-par round of the season saw the Naples, Fla., native finish four-under on the par 5s, which is tied for the lead in the 75-player field. He opened the round with a 35 on the front and his strong finish led to a three-under 33 on the par-72, 6,965-yard course’s back nine. Overall, he hit 12 of 14 fairways, 15 of 18 greens and had just 27 putts.

He was followed by Mercer's Hans Reimers who tied for 20th with a 70 (-2). The Bears' Trey Rule came in at one-over-par 73 for a tie at 41st.

After making the turn at 36 (E), Reimers shot two-under on the back nine to end the day in a tie for 20th place overall.  Rule was even through 17, but slipped up with a bogey on the final hole to drop into a tie for 41st overall. With 36 holes to play, both Reimers and Rule still have their sights set on advancement to the NCAA Championship. The players would likely have to finish first or second among the 10 individual participants to advance.

Jimmy Beck shot a one-under-par 69 (T17th) and Jonathan Klotz finished with an even-par 70 ((T23rd)) to place in the top 25 and lead No. 52 Kennesaw State on day one of the NCAA Men's Golf Regional in Tempe, Ariz., The Owls shot a 288 and finished the day in 12th position, 20 strokes behind leader No. 3 UCLA, 10 strokes behind second place and No. 9 Duke and 11 behind Austin Peay State (279). No. 15 Georgia, No. 22 Texas A&M, No. 46 North Carolina, No. 27 Clemson and No. 39 UCF are bottle-necked in a tie for fourth with a score of 280.

North Florida begins its second round Friday morning at 9:15 (ET) while Trey Rule, Hans Reimers and Edward Figueroa begin their second rounds at 9:50, 10:10 and 10:20, respectively at the Golden Eagle Golf and Country Club in Tallahassee, Fla.

Kennesaw State's starting times begin at 7:55 (MT) with Austin Vick, Peder Hermansson, Ben Greene, Klotz and Beck.

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