Men's Golf Leads After First Round of NCAA Championships

Men's Golf Leads After First Round of NCAA Championships
Adam Svensson and the Buccaneers have the lead after the first day of the NCAA Championships. Photo by Joel Auerbach

HERSHEY, Pa. – Barry University men’s golf team is in first place at the NCAA Division II Championships after Day 1 of a potential five-day, 108-hole event.

The No. 2-ranked Buccaneers shot even par 284 in the opening round at the par-71, 6,984-yard Hershey Country Club course Monday in a 20-team tournament that utilizes a three-day stroke play and two-day 54-hole match play format to decide a champion. On this, the first day, a morning mist and slightly overcast skies turned to sunshine with no wind as the morning faded into early afternoon.

The Bucs hold a six-stroke lead over fellow Sunshine State Conference member Lynn, while California State University-Monterey Bay is third, following a 7-over  291. Western Washington and Nova Southeastern are tied for fourth, a stroke behind the Otters.  

“The main thing today is we’re still learning the golf course,” Bucs coach Jimmy Stobs said. “I think they found out, for sure, today to keep it in the fairway. We got off to a great start, but didn’t finish well. It’s a very demanding golf course off the tee. But yeah, even par, I’ll take it.”

Barry freshman Adam Svensson shot a 3-under 68, firing four birdies with one bogey in his first nine holes – the back nine – before paring out the rest of the way. He was 4-under after eight holes, and played steady golf the rest of the round. Svensson has a one-stroke lead over Lynn’s Roberto Francioni, Florida Southern’s Case Gard and Grand Canyon’s Jimmy Kozikowski. South Carolina-Aiken's Matt Atkins, Cal State-Stanisalaus’ Rob Damschen, Wilmington’s Nick Mafale and Nova’s Hunter O’Mahony are tied for fifth at 1-under.

“Adam played pretty solid,” Stobs said of the No. 3-ranked golfer in Division II.

Bucs senior Marcus Segerstrom had five birdies and five bogeys to shoot par. He birdied the first two holes, Nos. 1 and 2, after the turn to drop to 3-under, but bogeyed three par-4 holes the rest of the way on his way to a 71. Segerstrom is in a six-way tie for ninth.

“To be 3-under after 12 holes, he was grinding,” Stobs said.

Barry junior Jared Dalga shot 1-over in a steady round in which he birdied back-to-back holes on the back nine before he made the turn with a pair of consecutive bogeys. He is in an eight-way tie for 15th.

Buccaneer junior teammate Scott Smyers, the eighth-ranked golfer in Division II, shot 2-over 73. He had two birdies on the back nine before finishing with four bogeys over his last 11 holes. Smyers is in a 12-player logjam for 23rd.

Barry senior Simon Forsslund eagled the par-4, 414-yard 12th, and birdied the 522-yard par-5 sixth, but had six bogeys in his opening-round 3-over 74. He is tied for 35th with five other players. Forsslund was one of four players to record an eagle on the opening day.

The Buccaneers, who will tee off at noon Tuesday, were 2-over on par-5 holes, a bit of a disappointment to a team that seizes scoring opportunities.

“The par fives were reachable in two,” Stobs said. “If they hit it in the fairway, they have a chance to put up some good scores.”