The 10th-seeded Tennessee men's golf team surged into second place after the opening round of the 108th NCAA Division-I Golf Championships in Baltimore, Md. Senior Ross McGowan led the way with a 3-under par score at the Caves Valley Golf Club.
With a combined score of 279, Tennessee is only five shots back of the leader, SEC-rival Georgia, who is in the clubhouse with a 274. UT and UGA are the only two schools with under-par scores. Arizona is third with a 2-over 282, while UNLV and Coastal Carolina are tied for fourth with 284. SEC team champion Kentucky is tied for 21st with a 11-over 291.
The Vol foursome of seniors McGowan, David Skinns, John Scott Rattan and freshman Philip Pettitt finished the round strong with a combined 7-under on the back nine of the par-70 course.
McGowan led the Vols on the first day of competition with a 3-under par 67. He was solid all day with 13 pars and four birdies to only one bogey. Individually, McGowan's 67 is tied for fourth, two shots back of co-leaders Kevin Kisner of Georgia and Major Manning of Augusta State.
Pettitt turned in the only other under-par score for UT. He finished 1-under par with three birdies and two bogeys. Pettitt's 69 is tied for 14th with seven other golfers. He is one of only four freshmen under par for the tournament.
Skinns, the SEC individual champion, was steady throughout the day with a 1-over-par 71. Skinns went on a back-nine run of back-to-back-to-back birdies to finish 1-under-par on the second nine. Skinns is tied for 34th individually.
Rattan trudged through a 4-over front nine then battled back with a 2-under back nine to finish with a 2-over 72 for the round. Rattan is tied for 51st.
The Vols' fifth team member, freshman Ben Spickard, scored at 7-over 77. At the NCAA Championships the top four finishers for each team score.
The tournament is a 72-hole format with 18 holes being played over four days, with only the top-15 teams playing the third and fourth rounds.
Golfers second after day one
Published: Fri Jun 03, 2005