Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll. Murphy was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
Hogs crush records to take lead at NCAA regional
Arkansas golfer Manuel Lozada on the 13th tee during an NCAA golf tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Johnson. (AP Photo/Michael Woods).
University of Arkansas men’s golf Coach Brad McMakin had the sense his veteran team would respond to the immediacy of the postseason after an underperforming run through the fall and spring.
The No. 35 Razorbacks did just that in the extreme Monday, crushing the 7,126-yard Jack Nicklaus layout at The Cliffs at Keowee Falls with a 22 under to take a 6-stroke lead at the NCAA Salem (S.C.) Regional.
Arkansas broke school records for both best round and best score in relation to par. Seniors Wil Gibson and Segundo Oliva Pinto led the way with rounds of 7-under 65 that included eagles for both players, who are tied for third. Gibson and Pinto broke the school scoring record for an NCAA regional in relation to par.
“To set school records is amazing, but doing so in the postseason is phenomenal,” McMakin said in a UA release. “We got off to a great start and never let up."
Seniors Wil Gibson and Segundo Oliva Pinto led the way with rounds of 7-under 65 that included eagles for both players, who are tied for third. Gibson and Pinto broke the school scoring record for an NCAA regional in relation to par.
“The 65s from Segundo and Wil were really impressive," McMakin said, "but having four rounds in the 60s put us in a great position to start the championship.”
New Mexico is in second place at 16 under. No. 2 North Carolina is 7 strokes back at 15 under, paced by Ryan Burnett, the individual leader who had an eagle and 8 birdies en route to a 9-under 63.
The Tar Heels are followed by Northern Illinois (-13), then ACC rival and No. 11 Georgia Tech (-10) and Georgia Southern (-9).
SEC powerhouse Texas A&M, the stroke-play runner-up and match play semifinalist at the SEC Championships is 15 shots off the pace at 7 under.
The top five teams after the 54-hole regional will move on to play in the NCAA Championships on May 26-31 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Arkansas sophomore Manuel Lozada carded a 5-under 67 that featured 7 birdies and 2 bogeys and is tied for eighth. His performance was the sixth best for a Razorback at an NCAA regional behind three 65s and a pair of 66s. Senior Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira shot 3-under 69 with 7 birdies and 4 bogeys.
Razorback senior Julian Perico, playing in the No. 1 spot, had the non-counting score of 75 that included 1 birdie, 2 bogeys and a double bogey.
Arkansas, teeing off on No. 10, got off to a sizzling start with 14 birdies and 2 eagles on their front 9. Lozada set the tone with three consecutive birdies in the leadoff spot, and Fernandez de Oliveira matched that feat half an hour later.
Pinto posted the first eagle on the 537-yard 16th hole, and Gibson got his minutes later on the 546-yard 18th.
Gibson played hole Nos. 1 through 9 in a bogey-free 4 under.
The Razorbacks carded 12 birdies and 3 bogeys on their back 9 and had 26 birdies on the day.
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