Troy Merritt is in second place after shooting a 68 (-4) in the opening round of the tournament. He was one of three golfer to register an eagle during the first round of competition as he sank his second shot on the par-4, 361 yard hole No. 14. He also recorded three birdies on the afternoon including back-to-back birdies on holes No. 9 and 10. Through one round Merritt leads the tournament in par-3 scoring (2.75, -1) and par-4 scoring (3.80, -2).
Matt Hastings is tied for fourth place with a 1-over 73. Through the first round,
John Baranco fired a 3-over 75 in the opening round as he recorded 12 pars and two birdies en route to tying for ninth place. At the 2007 WAC Championships, Baranco finished seventh with a 1-under 215 to lead the Broncos.
Robbie Richards recorded an 81 (+9) to post the final qualifying score for the Broncos. Kevin Tarango registered an 82 (+10) to finish tied for 35th place.
The second round of the Western Athletic Conference Championships will begin Tuesday, Apr. 29, with tee times at 7:30 a.m.
Cinnabar Hills Golf Club
Top Teams 1.
Top Individuals 1. Joshua Stewart, NMSU, (67, -5), 2. Troy Merritt,
Head Coach Kevin Burton
“I think our top three scores right there would put us in the lead of the tournament. I know our #4 and #5 struggled, but it’s pretty tough and brutal out there.”
“It got windier and windier. On the first hole at 7:30, there already was a breeze. You know it’s going to blow through the day. That’s what happens here. It’s a good, good test of golf. You’re seeing it in the scores.”
“I told them to forget there are pins on the greens. Some of these pin placements are very, very difficult. Only the suckers are going to go for them. You need to be happy with 15-20 feet to get out of there.”
“I was a little disappointed to start out with a par on the first hole. I had a good birdie on #2 and a mental mistake on #3 for a bogey. I played solid the rest of the front nine. I had a three-putt par on the next par 5 (#7), but that’s all right. I birdied #9, which was nice, made the turn and had a good up-and-down for a birdie on #10. Then, just played real solid golf and didn’t make any mistakes.”
“(On #14) I holed out from 116 yards (for an eagle), which was real nice a house call and made a nice 12-foot putt on 17 to keep my round going. It was a solid round and I hit the ball real well.”
“I used a knock-down 52-degree gap wedge (on #14).”
(Key to good play): “Out here it’s definitely hitting the green. The fairways are pretty wide. You can hit the fairways pretty much with no problem. If you miss the green, particularly where they place these pins, you’re going to make a lot of bogeys.”
“Today, I hit 15 greens and I didn’t sniff the hole with my putter. If I had made a few putts, it (my score) could have been a little lower. I’m happy with my 68 and I’m happy I hit a lot of greens.”