SUNRIVER, Ore. - Kansas State freshman Robert Streb held his own during the opening round of the 109th NCAA Men's Golf Championship Wednesday on the par 72, 7,630-yard Crosswater Course. But when the competition is the best college has to offer, sometimes even solid golf is just not quite good enough.
The first K-State freshman ever to compete at the NCAA championships, Streb closed out the opening day of the 72-hole tournament with a 2-over par score of 74 and heads into Thursday's second round tied for 83rd place.
"I hit the ball very well today," Streb said shortly after walking off the 18th hole. "I think I only had one bad shot that cost me a stroke. I just couldn't get into a rhythm with my putter early on. I can count making only two putts outside of three feet. The three-putts definitely added up."
Streb also said he felt no first-round jitters, despite playing in the biggest tournament of his young career.
"I hit my first shot on No. 1 really long and straight," said Streb. "Any butterflies I had disappeared after that."
Still, the Edmond, Okla., product lost two strokes on the first four holes, sandwiching a birdie on No. 2 around a bogey on No. 1 and a double-bogey on No. 4.
Another bogey on the par-4 No. 9 hole had him sitting at 3-over at the turn.
Streb then bogeyed No. 11, another par 4, before settling in and rallying down the stretch with birdies on holes 12 and 15.
"I kinda found rhythm on the back-nine and made up a little ground," Streb said. "The back-nine is definitely the easier stretch of the course. There a lot more birdies to be had out there than on the front-nine and the conditions today were right to score low."
Kyle Reifers of Wake Forest made the entire course look easy today. Thanks in part to the picture-perfect playing conditions, he sits a top the individual leader board after scorching the Crosswater Course with a blistering 7-under par 65.
It was part of a big day for the Demon Deacons, who lead the team race as well with a combined score of 11-under 277.
With plenty of ground to make up, Streb will look to get off to a fast start in Thursday's second round. He tees off on the back-nine, where he shot 1-under Wednesday, beginning at 9:25 a.m. (PDT).
Fans and media outlets interested in following the action live may do so at www.golfstat.com. K-State results will be made available as soon as they are final.
109th NCAA Men's Golf Championship
May 31-June 3, 2006
Crosswater Course (Par 72, 7,630 yards)
Sun River, Ore.
Individual Leaders (Top 5)
1. Kyle Reifers Wake Forest, 65 (-7); T2. Pablo Martin, Oklahoma State; Taylor Wood, Southern California, 66 (-6); 4. Alex Prugh, Washington, 67 (-5); T5. Daniel Im, UCLA; Jonathan Moore, Oklahoma State; Ray Cheedy, Charlotte, 68 (-4).
Kansas State Result
T83. Robert Streb, 74 (+2).