PALM DESERT, Calif. -- The UT Arlington men's golf team launched its spring season with a strong performance today, finishing the first round of the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate in a tie for seventh place among a star-studded field of teams.
The Mavericks finished today's first round with a 4-over par 292, tying 36th ranked Kansas and Southern Illinois. The trio are two strokes behind 26th ranked Tennessee and UC Riverside, which are tied for fifth place.
UTA registered one of the most consistent team rounds of the tournament, leading the field with 61 total pars.
Individually, UTA senior Aaron Guanlao (Haslet, Texas) fired a 3-under par 69 to pace the Mavericks with a tie for 9th place finish among the 135 golfer field. Southern Illinois sophomore Payton Wilhoit leads the tournament with a 6-under par 66, one stroke ahead of Cal junior Sebastian Crampton.
On the strength of having three of the top 7 individuals, 19th ranked Cal ran away from the field today with a 13-under par 275. The Bears ended the first round nine strokes ahead of 9th ranked Texas Tech and 12 in front of third place Colorado. No. 21 UCLA is fourth at 1-over par.
After opening with four straight pars to begin his round, Guanlao registered his only bogey of the day on the 419-yard, par 5 fifth hole. He recovered quickly with a birdie on No. 6 and finished the front nine at even par.
Guanlao quickly moved to 2-under with birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 and, after a pair of pars, went to 3-under with his fourth birdie of the day on the second-longest hole on the course - the 560-yard, par 5 No. 14.
Junior Tanner Gore (El Paso, Texas) opened his round at 1-under through the first six holes until a triple bogey on No. 7 and a bogey on No. 10 dropped his score to 3-over par. He recovered nicely, however, making birdie on Nos. 12 and 16 to finish at 1-over par 73 and tied for 33rd overall.
Freshman Paul Gonzalez (Waxahachie, Texas) concluded the day's round at 2-over par 74 and tied with 16 golfers for 52nd place. Graduate transfer Nick Thornton (Boerne, Texas) and senior Jake Greenspoon (Houston, Texas) are tied for 84th with a 4-over par 76.
Thornton finished the front at even par, but registered three bogeys, a double bogey and a birdie on the back nine. Greenspoon carded 12 pars, but, despite a birdie on the par 3 sixth hole, he was unable to overcome five bogeys to finish with a 76.
The 54-hole event resumes tomorrow with golfers starting on hole No. 1 and No. 10 beginning at 9 a.m. (CST) at 7,322-yard, par 72 Classic Club. The low four scores from each team's five designated golfers count toward the team total each round. A team champion and individual medalist will be awarded following Sunday's final round.
The field includes three teams ranked among the top 25 in the national golfstat.com ratings, six in the top 40. At 9th, Texas Tech owns the top-rated team in the field, while the Cal Bears are ranked 19th and UCLA is 21st.
Following the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate, UTA returns to action on March 11-12 at the Cape Fear National Intercollegiate in Leland, N.C. The team will play five regular season spring events prior to the annual Sun Belt Conference Championships, which are scheduled for April 22-24 at Raven Golf Course in Miramar Beach, Fla.
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