It’s golf season – the best “off season” sport around. Golf legend Arnold Palmer said it best, “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented”. And Arnold, you’ll be happy to know that golf is prime time right now in the world of college sports.
The NCAA men’s Division 1 golf championship is underway at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. This internationally renowned course, designed by George C. Thomas, has had legends scoring birdies and eagles since 1927. It’s a difficult course — the 18th hole has an elevated fairway that leads to a narrow green and surrounded by hazards. I am a scratch golfer; this course would definitely give me trouble. The hole I would be totally afraid of is number 17– the par 5 hole is all up hill, requiring a long second shot.
The Riviera is the perfect course to host the tournament. Most of the players talk about how the majority of the holes are played into the wind, making the easy shots hard, and the hard shots twice as difficult. With the multiple challenging holes strategically placed, the college players will really have to show true skill.
Want to catch the tournament? Here’s a brief look at the schedule:
May 29-31– Three rounds played by each team with the top eight teams advancing.
June 1–3—Single elimination rounds
After the first round ESPN reported the best score belongs to UCLA Anton Arboleda. He scored a 67, 4-under par, and is followed closely by Tyler McCumber of Florida and Corey Conners of Kent State by a single stroke. Anton is keeping his team tied for fourth place currently and is expected to play just as hot as he did yesterday.
This is a very important tournament for each individual player since PGA tour officials will be there every day watching – watching and potentially making these students true PGA professionals. Being in the top of this tournament will help their chances of becoming a member of the PGA.
When it comes to team performance, Alabama has a 3 shot lead. The key to Alabama’s success so far has been their low number of bogeys. They have had only 18 bogeys with 17 Birdies and one eagle to give them a top score. They are in front of their rivals Auburn and Florida, both not too far behind (so it looks like it’s going to be an intense couple of days for the golf community!). I will keep you updated as the tournament proceeds!
Written by Guest Blogger, Stephen Brooks