After sluggish start, Oregon finishes first round of NCAA Championships 11-over

Oregon played nervous from the outset when it teed off in the first round of NCAA Championships at Eugene Country Club Friday morning. On the Ducks’ very first hole, only Aaron Wise’s tee shot landed on the fairway. Edwin Yi shot far right of the fairway. Zach Foushee and Sulman Raza’s …

The Oregon Ducks men's golf team opened the spring season at the Amer Ari Invitational this weekend at the Waikoloa Kings’ Course in Waikoloa, Hawaii. Oregon came in third in the first round and tied for fourth in the second and third rounds of the tournament of 18 teams.

On Thursday, in the tournament’s opening round, seniors Sam Foust, Ryan Gronlund and Edwin Yi propelled the team to its fewest strokes per single round, 271, since the second round of the 2017 Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate.

All three seniors finished in the top 10, with Gronlund at No. 2, Foust tied for No. 3 and Yi tied at No.7. Gronlund set his career low with 65, while Foust tied his career low with 66 strokes.

The Ducks finished 17 under, made a season-high 30 birdies and were just four shots behind No. 1 Oklahoma State. 

“Great round to start 2019,” Oregon head coach Casey Martin told “The seniors really were awesome today. They know their clock is ticking and they want to end their careers in a good way. Today was a great move in that direction."

Oregon fell into fourth place the following day in round two. Tying with Texas Tech, Oregon shot 281 to total 552 strokes over the two days.

The team finished 24-under par and was 12 strokes off the lead. Yi finished in a tie for second place, matching his career-low of 65, which was only one under No. 1 Cole Hammer from Texas. Foust tied for fourth at 11 under overall, while Gronlund is tied for 24th.

In the final round of the tournament, the Ducks finished again tied for fourth — this time with No. 6-ranked USC — at 834, shooting 30 under.

Individually, Yi finished tied for second place with Zach Bauchou of Oklahoma State, only two shots behind Oklahoma State’s, No. 1 Matthew Wolff. Foust reached his first top-10 finish, tying for sixth place with 204, and Gronlund tied for 12th with 209.

“We had a good event,” Martin said. “The seniors played great and it was so satisfying to see Sam break through with an awesome performance. Edwin played amazing and showed that he is one of the best players in the conference.”

The Ducks will travel to La Quinta, California next weekend, Feb. 18 -20, to play in The Prestige at PGA West.

Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter: @maggie_vanoni

Sports Reporter

Maggie is a senior sports reporter covering all things Oregon sports including football, volleyball, women's basketball and softball. Contact her via email at [email protected]

Please consider donating to the Emerald. We are an independent non-profit dedicated to supporting and educating this generation's best journalists. Your donation helps pay equipment costs, travel, payroll, and more!