Point Park stands in 19th place after Rd 1 of NAIA Men's Golf National Championship
May 14, 2013 at 11:20 p.m. ET
Junior James Daley tied for the Point Park team lead with a 76 on Tuesday. Photo by Nichelle Navarro.
SALEM, Ore. -- Point Park University shot 309 in the first round of the NAIA Men's Golf National Championship on Tuesday at Creekside Golf Club in Salem, Ore. The Pioneers are tied for 19th place of 28 teams after 18 holes of the 72-hole tournament, which continues through May 17.
There were a total of 10 teams that shot under 300, and Point Park is just a few shots off the cutline of 17th place. Point Park shot 21-over par, and the cutline is at 17-over par through 18 holes. After 54 holes, the tournament field will be cut to the top 17 teams and 40 individuals.
Senior Austin Elder, from Warren, Ohio, and junior James Daley, from Youngstown, Ohio, led the Pioneers and tied for the team lead with a 4-over 76 on Tuesday. Junior Chris Bowen, from Bethel Park, Pa., fired a 78, and senior Billy Wivell, from Deer Lakes, Pa., rounded out the team score with a 79. Sophomore Collin Holmes shot an 80.
The scoring average for the 154 players in round one was 77.81 on the Par 72, 6,887-yard layout of Creekside Golf Club. Oklahoma City fired an impressive team score of 8-under par 280 and leads second-place Grand View (Iowa) by eight shots for the team lead. Grand View shot even-par 288. Johnson & Wales (Fla.), which is one of two teams paired with Point Park, is one of three teams tied for third at 6-over 294.
Point Park was one of 15 teams that had tee times in the morning, and through 13 holes, the Pioneers were in fifth place out of those teams on the course. But a rough final five holes made the Pioneers slip down the leaderboard.
The Pioneers started on the back nine, and holes No. 5-9 were their last ones of the day. Point Park played those holes in 15-over par to finish with a team score of 21-over for the round. Holes No. 5, 6, 7 and 8 were among the toughest holes in round one with No. 8 being the third-toughest hole on the course.
"All in all, we played well," said Point Park head coach Gabe Bubon. "We played good golf for 13-15 holes, but we didn't finish. Coming in, I knew I'd be happy with anything at 310 or better in the first round. Turns out that's where were are, but if we would've had a better finish, we'd be much higher.
"But we are right within range of making the cut, and that's what we want to do. It's a big stage to play in the national tournament, and I thought the guys handled it well. We will have to come out and shoot some lower rounds to climb the leaderboard to make sure we make the cut. I'm sure our guys will be thinking about this round tonight, and we are usually play our best in situations like this."
Starting on the back nine, unranked Point Park didn't get any time to get its feet wet playing in its first NAIA national tournament since 1969. Hole No. 10 played as the second-toughest on the course on Tuesday, and the Pioneers carded a bogey and two double bogeys there among their five players.
But after that, each of the Point Park players settled down and began to string together pars and the occassional birdie. The Pioneers had six birdies as a team with Elder and Wivell leading the way with two each. It wasn't until the final few holes that the Pioneers ran into trouble, particularly on No. 8, the third-toughest hole of the day.
Daley got off to a nice start with a birdie on the par-5 12th, his third hole of the day. And although he bogeyed the next two holes and had three total bogeys through nine holes, he rebounded for eight pars on his second nine. His lone mistake coming in was a double bogey on No. 8.
Elder was at even par through 13 holes before hitting a rough slide. He was still carrying a very solid score of 2-over before a double bogey at No. 9, his last hole of the day. A birdie and two bogeys on his first nine had him going out in 1-over 37. A birdie at No. 2, his 11, got him back to even.
Bowen's 78 included three double bogeys although he played the other 15 holes in even par. One of the double bogeys was on No. 10, his first of the day. The other was at No. 8, a hole that dogged Point Park as a team. Bowen birdied No. 16, a par 5.
Wivell shot 4-over 40 in his first nine holes, and birdied a couple of holes on his second nine to keep it there. Wivell picked up birdies on No. 2 and No. 6, to get back to 4-over, but he bogeyed the last three holes of the day to finish at 7-over 79.
Holmes was enjoying a really nice round of 2-over through 13 holes with bogeys on No. 11 and 15 and the rest pars. But a lost ball on a shot over the green on No. 5 led to an 8, and he bogeyed the next two holes on his way to an 80.
The Pioneers continue tournament play on Wednesday with an afternoon tee time of 12:40 p.m. PT off of hole No. 1. The teams will be re-paired according to the leaderboard for Thursday's third round.
Follow Live Scoring for all rounds of the NAIA Men's Golf National Championship at the results links above. Follow @PointParkSports on Twitter for updates throughout the round.