May 17, 2007
Tempe, Ariz. -
Freshman Carl Smith carded a 6-under par 66 to help Pepperdine to an opening-round 11-under 277 and a tie for fifth place following the first of the NCAA Division I Men's West Regional Golf Championships that began Thursday at the par-72, 7,057-yard Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Arziona.
The Waves are nine shots behind UCLA, which opened with a 20-under par score of 268 and holds a five-shot advantage over South Carolina (273). Host Arizona State and New Mexico are tied for third at 13-under par 275.
Pepperdine is tied with Stanford and USC in fifth place. The 54-hole tournament began in 90 degree temperatures and soared over 100 degrees while the Waves were on the course during the afternoon.
The top 10 teams from the 27-team regional will advance to the NCAA Championships that will be contested May 30-June 2 at the Gold Course at Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Virginia. Virginia Commonwealth University is the host institution for this year's championships.
UCLA's Erik Flores turned in an 8-under par 64 to take the first-round lead in the individual standings. He holds a one-shot lead over New Mexico's Charlie Beljan, who shot a 7-under par 65, and is two shots ahead of Smith, Oregon State's James Allenby, UCLA's Kevin Chappell and California's Michael Jensen, who are tied for third.
Pepperdine begins second-round play on Friday beginning at 8:05 from the 10th hole. All the action can be followed live on the Internet at www.golfstat.com.