The University of Victoria Vikes men’s golf team are sitting in 14th after the opening round of the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship hosted at Las Sendas Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona from May 21-24. The par-71 Hilly Desert Course sees Texas Wesleyan at the top or the team standings with a collecting 293 (+9) score line, while Kansas Wesleyan’s Ben Hadden paces the field of 156 with an impressive 68 (-3) after Round 1.
“It was very challenging conditions for first round with 25-35 km sustained winds and gusts up to 50-km, resulting in higher scores for most teams,” described Vikes head coach Justin Clews. “Our men played okay considering the conditions but had a tough stretch of holes midway through their rounds.”
The Vikes carded a team score of 312 (+28) to open the tournament sitting in 14th place. Robin Conlan leads all Vikes after shooting a 74 (+3) and sitting in 16th place. Vikes John Morrow and Max Murchison each shot 77 (+6), while Josh Miller (84) and Jake Hamilton (85) rounded out the Vikes team results.
“Robin’s score of 74 was a solid number out there and he was in control of his game pretty much all day,” added Clews. “We are sitting right around the Top 17 team cut line after Day 1 and will need a competitive Round 2 score to move up the leader board.”
Six teams broke 300 on Day 1, including tournament leader Texas Wesleyan at 293. Five of the six were morning-round teams, and Kansas Wesleyan jumped in, in the afternoon, at 299. Texas Wesleyan was led by Victor Miron, who shot 70, one of two under par rounds to finish Tuesday, but both trail KWU’s Ben Hadden, who had the only round below 70 at 3-under par 68. The day’s other 70 belongs to Carl Didrik M. Fosaas, who shot -1 for Keiser.
The entire tournament begins early May 22, with players who need to finish Tuesday’s round beginning just after 6 a.m. Tee times for Day 2 begin an hour earlier than scheduled, going off of No. 1 and No. 10 at 6:30 a.m. Scores were higher than expected due to above normal winds at Las Sendas, which stretched to more than 6,900 yards for Tuesday’s first round.