Individual Players Off To Good Start In NCAA Regionals


A Big South-record five individuals opened competition in the NCAA Regionals today, and Campbell's Vaita Guillaume shot a two-under-par 70 and is tied for fourth-place in the NCAA East Regional at the Grandover Resort East Course in Greensboro, N.C.  Four players are competing in the Southeast Regional in Athens, Ga., and Coastal Carolina junior Sebastian Soderberg is tied for 10th in that event after posting an opening-round 3-under par 68 on the 7,253-yard, par 71 University of Georgia Golf Course.

Guillaume made five birdies on the day, including a four on the par-five 18th hole to pull within three strokes of individual leader Matt Schovee of SMU.  The 54-hole event continues through Saturday's final round at the par-72, 7271-yard Grandover East layout.

Playing in his third career NCAA Regional tournament, Guillaume made three bogeys, including one on the par-five second hold.  However, he had birdies on the par-4 fourth and ninth holes to make the turn at one-under 35.  The Big South Conference Player of the Year made bogey on the par-4 11th, but then birdied the par-three 12th and par-four 14th before scoring four on the par-three 16th.

Guillaume stands in a 5-way tie at two-under with M.J. Daffue of Lamar and Liberty teammates Robert Karlsson and Chase Marinell.

Meanwhile in Athens, Soderberg was joined by Charleston Southern teammates Jacobo Pastor and David Denlinger and Winthrop's Kamito Hirai in the individual field.  Soderberg opened with a bogey on the par four, 473-yard first hole.  He closed his front nine with birdies on six, seven and nine to stand at 2-under par 33 at the turn.  He birdied the first three holes on the inward nine before posting a birdie on the par 3, 191-yard 13th hole.  He would birdie the 17th hole, a 568-yard par five, before finding the sand and settling for a bogey on the 18th, a 488-yard par four.

Pastor got off to a rocky start at the event, bogeying the first hole.  He would make par on the next five holes and add in two birdies on the back nine as well.  Pastor finished the round shooting three over par with a 74.  He is tied for 51st place after 18 holes. 

Hirai shot a 5-over par 76 on the first day.  For most of the round Hirai handled the par 71, 7,253-yard layout without problems, but he did run into some trouble as bogeyed No. 2, No. 9, and No. 12 and double bogeyed the Par 3 13th when his tee shot found the water in front of the green.

In a tie for 68th place is Denlinger, who carded a 78 in the first round of play.  He birdied the sixth hole to finish two over through the front nine, but a double bogey on the 18th hole knocked him back to seven over par. 

The top five teams and low individual not on those teams at each of six regionals will advance to the NCAA Championship, May 29-June 3 at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.