PULLMAN, Washington – The Michigan State men’s golf team shot a 7-under-par 273 and is in fifth place after the first round of the NCAA Pullman Regional on Monday at Palouse Ridge Golf Club. Senior Donnie Trosper carded a career-best 5-under-par 65 to lead all Spartans and is tied for fourth place.
MSU sits just four shots out of first place, which is occupied by the region’s No. 4 seed Texas A&M (11-under-par 269). Top-seeded Oklahoma (10-under-par 270), Georgia Tech (9-under-par 271) and Brigham Young (8-under-par 272) round are in the second through fourth spots.
The top five teams and the top individual not from the five qualifying teams from each of the nation’s six regional sites will advance to the NCAA finals, which will take place May 24-29 at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
“It was solid start and right where need to be,” MSU head coach Casey Lubahn said. “We didn’t play our best, but we played pretty well and are looking forward to tomorrow.”
Trosper recorded three birdies on the front nine and picked up his only bogey on the ninth hole, making the turn at 2-under-par. Trosper immediately bounced back with a birdie on the 10th hole. He got to 4-under-par with a birdie on the 15th, and then picked up two pars before registering his sixth birdie of the day on the 18th.
“Obviously Donnie is continuing his solid year,” Lubahn said. “That was a very smooth 65 today and he really took advantage of his opportunities.”
Three players are tied for the top spot at 6-under-par 64, and Trosper is one of four players tied for fourth.
Kaleb Johnson tied his lowest round of the year with a 1-under-par 69 and is in 23rd place. Johnson, who was 1-under-par at the turn, had a total of four birdies in his round.
Like Johnson, Troy Taylor II is tied for 23rd place after he also carded a 1-under-par 69. The freshman got to 2-under-par through 15 with a string of 11 consecutive bogey-free holes. After a bogey on the 16th, Taylor ended his day with a pair of pars.
Andrew Walker tied Trosper for the best start of any Spartan through nine holes at 2-under-par 33. He got to 1-over-par with one hole to play, but a birdie on the par-5, 551-yard 18th got him back to even. His even-par 70 puts him in a tie for 37th place heading into tomorrow.
“Kaleb, Troy and Andrew all put in solid rounds and looked good,” Lubahn said. “They just have to keep believing.”
James Piot finished the opening round with a 1-over-par 71. He responded to a bogey on the final hole before the turn by being perfect on the back nine, recording nine pars. He’s tied for 51st place.
Michigan State will tee off in Tuesday’s second round from the 10th hole between 11 – 11:44 a.m. ET. The Spartans will play with BYU and UCLA, which is one of four teams tied for sixth place.