RENO, Nev. Freshman John Baranco and Chris Byrne both shot a 4-under 68, Monday, at the Western Athletic Conference Championships, to tie for second place and assist the Boise State University men’s golf team to a fourth place finish after round one.
Baranco and Byrne both set a school-record for the best score in relation to par at a conference championship with their 4-under par 68. The 68 posted by both Baranco and Byrne in the first round also matches the Boise State school-record for a low-round in a conference championship, set by Graham DeLaet in 2004.
Baranco remained consistent on the front and back-nine, Monday, to stand among the leaders. He posted three birdies and one bogey on the front-nine for a -2, before repeating his performance on the back-nine with another three birdies and one bogey to post a -2 there and a 4-under in the first day on competition. Baranco birdied three of the four, par 5 holes on the course Monday. The 68 (-4) was the best round of Baranco’s career topping the 69 (-2) he posted in the first and third round of the Belmont Intercollegiate.
Byrne did not post as many birdies as Baranco but remained just as effective throughout the first round. Byrne opened the tournament by paring the first hole and posting another birdie and one bogey on the front-nine to sit with a 1-under par through nine hole of play. On the back-nine, Byrne avoided all bogey and registered three birdies to shoot a 3-under. The 68 (-4) in the first round of the WAC Championships bested Byrne’s career low round three strokes as he had previously posted a 71 (E) at the Belmont Intercollegiate.
The team stands in sole possession of fourth place after setting the school-record for best round in relation to par by shooting the 3-under, 285 in round one, topping the 1-over mark set at the WAC Championships in 2004. The 285 also matched the school-record for a low round at the conference championships also set in 2004. The team is currently seven strokes off the pace set by Nevada but one two strokes back of third place Hawaii and four stroke behind second place Fresno State.
Matt Hasting is tied for 26th place after registering a 2-over, 74 with three birdies and five bogies in the first round. He posted an even par 36 on the front-nine and a 2-over 38 on the back-nine.
Robbie Richards is 3-over after posting a 75 on the first day of competition. He posted two birdies and three bogies to accomplish the score.
Troy Merritt recorded a 4-over 76 with two birdies and five bogies to stand tied for 31st place one round into the WAS Championships.
The second round of play will continue Tuesday, May 1, at the Hidden Valley Country Club in Reno, Nev.Results
Hidden Valley Country Club
Apr. 30-May 2
Boise State Individuals: T2. John Baranco (68, -4), T2. Chris Byrne (68, -4), T26. Matt Hastings (74, +2), 30. Robbie Richards (75, +3), T31. Troy Merritt (76, +4).
Top Teams: 1. Nevada (276, -10), 2. Fresno State (281, -7), 3. Hawaii (283, -5), 4. Boise State (285, -3), 5. NMSU (289, +1), 6. Utah State (291, +3), 7. Louisiana Tech (295, +7), 8. Idaho (296, +8), 9. SJSU ( 301, +13).
Top Individuals: 1. Grant Doverspike, Fresno State, (66, -6), T2. John Baranco, Boise State, (68, -4), T2. Chris Byrne, Boise State, (68, -4), T2. Chase Cooper, Nevada, (68, -4), Pierre-Henri Soero, Hawaii, (68, -4).--www.broncosports.com--