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Gaels Struggle In Opening Round At NCAA Championships

May 28, 2008

West Lafayette, IN - In the school's first ever NCAA Championship Golf Tournament appearance, the Saint Mary's golf team posted an opening round score of 333(+45) at the Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex. Leading the play of the Gaels in the opening round was senior Chadd Cocco, who carded an opening round of 76 (+4) at the par 72, 7,450-yard Pete Dye designed golf course.

Chadd Cocco's play was the lone bright spot for the Gaels as he was the only SMC player to shot a score in the 70s. Cocco opened the day with back-to-back pars and got to 1-under par with a birdie from 40-yards our on the third hole. He bogeyed three of the next four holes, and following a par at the eighth hole, he made birdie at the 481-yard par-4 ninth hole. After making the turn at 1-over par, Cocco made six pars and three bogeys over his final nine holes to shoot 39 on the back nine. His bogeys came on 12, 14, and 18.

Robert McRae's round got off to a rocky start, as he was 7-over through the first five holes. After making double bogey on three, triple bogey on four, and double bogey on five, McRae recovered to shot five over for his final 13 holes. McRae made his only birdie of the round on the 365-yard par-4 seventh hole. After closing the opening nine with a bogey, he would shot 41 on the back nine following five bogeys and four pars. He finished the day with a 12-over par round of 84.

Fellow sophomore Daniel Cone carded at 86 (+14) on Wednesday after posting an opening nine-hole score of 39 (+3). Cone had one birdie on the first nine, with that coming on the 600-yard par-5 sixth hole. He had three bogeys on the front nine and was playing well. As good as he was playing on the opening nine holes, that was lost on the back nine as he shot 47 on the final nine holes, as he made five double bogeys, one birdie, one bogey and two pars. His lone birdie on the back nine came at the par-5 16th hole.

Josh Kelley completed the scoring for the Gaels on the first day as he carded an opening round 87 (+15). Kelley made the turn at 41 (+5), but dropped 10 shots to the course on the back nine which included one birdie and one par.

Mike McRae posted his worst round as a Gaels, shooting 89 (+17). In 138 career rounds, McRae has only been in the 80s six times, which 81 being his highest round prior to Wednesday's opening 18.

Saint Mary's will begin second round action at the Kampen Course on Thursday, beginning at 12:54 PM EST on the 10th hole. Daniel Cone will be the first SMC player to tee office on Thursday, while Mike McRae will be the final Gael to take the course, as his tee time is 1:37 PM.

Pepperdine senior Eric Shriver opened the first round of the NCAA Championships on Wednesday afternoon with an eight-over par 80 at the Brick Boilermaker Golf Complex.

Shriver's (Cary, N.C./Arkansas/Green Hope HS) tough round puts him in a tie for 100th place after the first round. Shriver's day included two birdies, five bogeys, one double bogey and one triple bogey. Shriver is competing in the NCAA Championships as an individual after finishing in 11th place at the NCAA West Regionals earlier this month.

Shriver's scheduled tee time for Thursday's second round is set for 8:55 a.m. ET.