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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Ohio State posted an opening round of 7-over 287 on day one of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Friday.
The Buckeyes are tied for 12th in the 30-team final field after the first round. A cut will be made to the low 15 teams following Sunday’s third round and the Top 8 teams after Monday’s final round will advance to match play.
Individually, junior Maxwell Moldovan posted a virtual stress-free round of 1-under 69. The only stress in the round came in the form of a bit of frustration as the putts just didn’t fall. The Uniontown, Ohio native played beautifully, hitting 16 of 18 greens en route to making 17 pars and one birdie. He is tied for 14th heading into the second round. Moldovan and leader Ross Steelman of Georgia Tech were the only two players in the 156-player field to not record a bogey in their opening rounds.
Neal Shipley, who transferred to the program last summer, made his NCAA Championship debut on Friday. He was the first Buckeye to get going and he would come home with a very solid round of even-par 70. He countered three bogeys with three birdies over the course of his round. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native starts Saturday’s second round in a tie for 19th.
JonErik Alford, playing in his last NCAA event, opened with a 4-over 74. Adam Wallin matched Alford with a first round 77. Wallin was the low Buckeye in last year’s NCAA Championship at Grayhawk, finishing at 10-over par through three rounds.
Jackson Chandler posted an opening round 77 on Friday.
Taking advantage of the morning round is crucial as the wind usually picks up and the course firms up in the afternoons at Grayhawk. Last year, the Buckeyes carded an opening round 300 and they beat that number by 13 shots today. By contrast, the average score in last year’s first round was 74.43 and today, it was 73.24.
Ohio State will again be paired with Colorado State and Georgia in the second round. The teams will start off the first tee at 12:25 p.m. ET on Saturday.