Euler, Stallings Lead Wildcats on Day One at NCAA Regional
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After the opening 18 holes of the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional, the Kentucky men’s golf team is exactly where it wants to be with two rounds remaining – in contention. The top five teams from each of the six regions advance to the NCAA Championships next week and after the opening round, the Wildcats sit in third place overall in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Freshman Lukas Euler was outstanding in his first-ever postseason round of play. The Dieburg, Germany, native fired a team-best 2-under par, 70. Euler is tied for fifth overall on the individual leaderboard.
Junior Stephen Stallings was the other UK player to post an under-par score after logging at 1-under, 71. Stallings is tied for ninth overall, while sophomore Tyler “Chip” McDaniel is tied for 13th following an even-par, 72, on day one.
What coach Brian Craig is saying:
"You cannot win it on the first day, but you can lose it. We got off to a good start today. Lukas and Stephen really played well and led the way. We just need to keep battling and focusing on our own games. There is a long, long ways to go in this event.”
About the lineup:
Euler displayed remarkable resilience in his opening round of action. He was the first Wildcat to tee off for the day at No. 10 and opened with a 1-over score. The first-year player rebounded admirably from that point on to fire a 2-under, 70, in the opening day of action. Euler posted back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15. He rounded out the front nine at even par, before logging two birdies on the back nine for the 2-under round. He notched birdies on the par-five No. 3 and the par-four fifth to complete his round. Euler capped the day in a tie for fifth overall.
Stallings posted his second under-par round of the postseason with the 1-under, 71. Stallings came out of the gate firing on all cylinders with a birdie on the opening hole. He notched a 1-under score on the opening nine holes after also picking up a birdie on the par-five 14th. He fell back to even par with a bogey on his start to the back nine. A birdie at the par-five third put him back at 1-under. He dropped another shot on the par-three eighth, but fired back with a birdie on the par-four ninth to conclude the round in red numbers. Stallings is tied for ninth overall on the individual leaderboard heading into day two.
McDaniel fended off a 2-over par score on the front nine with a pair of birdies and spotless play after the turn to finish the day at even par. His birdies came on successive holes on the par-four second and the par-five third to highlight his round. McDaniel has now totaled a team-leading 18 par or better rounds and has achieved the feat in three of his last four rounds played. He is currently tied for 13th.
Senior David Snyder posted a 3-over par, 75, on day one. He opened the front nine flawlessly. A birdie on the par-five seventh hole highlighted his round where he finished in a tie for 32nd. Sophomore Cooper Musselman carded an 81 to begin his three-day total. However, he finished the round in stylish fashion with birdies on three of his final four holes to head into day two with positive momentum.
The Tournament Field:
The 13-team regional features five Southeastern Conference squads. All five are within the top six on the team standings board. Fifth-ranked Georgia paced the field with a 4-under score to open the tournament. South Carolina notched a 1-under score which was good for second, while Kentucky finished in third at even par through 18 holes. UNLV is two shots off of the Wildcats’ pace. Alabama is in fifth at 4-over par and Auburn is sixth at six-over.
The top-five team finishers from the Tuscaloosa Regional will move on to the NCAA Championship in Eugene, Ore., slated to begin May 27.
The Ol’ Colony Golf Complex has been voted as the “Best Public Course in Alabama” by Golf Digest and one of the top-50 courses in the country by Golf Week. The 18-hole course opened in December 2000 and was designed by professional golfer, Jerry Pate.
Players will tee off from holes No. 1 and 10 beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday for round two. Wednesday’s final round will begin at 7:30 a.m. Fans can follow along with live scoring here.
For the latest on the Kentucky men's golf team, follow @UKMensGolf on Twitter and on the web at UKathletics.com.
Ol’ Colony Golf Complex
3 – Kentucky (288, E)
T5 – Lukas Euler (70, -2)
T9 – Stephen Stallings (71, -1)
T13 – Chip McDaniel (72, E)
T32 – David Snyder (75, +3)
T66 – Cooper Musselman (81, +9)