RICHARDSON SOARS TO SIXTH PLACE AFTER ROUND ONE OF NCAA COLLEGE GROVE REGIONAL
May 15, 2017
COLLEGE GROVE, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin junior Hunter Richardson tallied five birdies today and is tied for sixth after the first round in the strong field of 75 competitors at the 2017 NCAA College Grove Regional held at The Grove.
Richardson carded a 69 this afternoon, committing only two bogeys to go along with 11 pars. The Clarksville, Tenn. native ranked fifth in the field in par-4 scoring (3.80, -2) while his 4.50 average (-2) in par-5 scoring ranked sixth today. Vanderbilt’s Patrick Martin leads the tournament with a 66 (-6) while Richardson’s score was four shots better than any of the 10 golfers competing as individuals.
“I felt comfortable out there today,” said Richardson, who qualified for the postseason after winning Ohio Valley Conference medalist honors for the second straight year. “I wasn’t nervous at all and that helped. I had a rough start putting – I was having a really hard time with the green speed with a pair of three-putts early. But overall, I hit the ball pretty well, finally figured out the greens a little bit better and I felt good about the round.”
Richardson began his day with a birdie on the first hole, stiffing an approach shot to within five feet of the pin on a par-4 that was playing at 421 yards. Following a par on Hole No. 2, he suffered a bogey on No. 3 before reeling off three consecutive pars – the last of which came on an impressive up-and-down from a green side bunker.
Richardson birdied the 570-yard, par-5 Hole No. 7 and after two pars, he made the turn with a 35 (-1) through nine holes. He then started the back-nine with a birdie to move to -2 through 10 holes. He parred the treacherous par-5, 629-yard Hole No. 11 before a bogey on Hole No. 12 – his last dropped shot of the day.
A trio of pars followed before Richardson closed out his round strong, dialing up two birdies in the last three holes. He stuck an approach shot within eight feet before draining a putt on the par-4 Hole No. 16 and reached the par-5 Hole No. 18 in two shots before two-putting to regain a stroke.
“Hunter hit the ball really well in the practice round yesterday – he hit the ball where he wanted to and he made putts,” Skyhawk head coach Jerry Carpenter said. “He’s looked really comfortable on this golf course. He made about three or four really clutch putts for par and that’s what kept his momentum going. He was able to close out with some birdies coming in and that’s what he’s capable of doing at any point.”
As he did today, Richardson will tee off at 10:34 a.m. on Tuesday, May 16. His Round 2 will begin on Hole No. 10 as he has been paired with Harvard’s Daniel de la Garza and UNC Wilmington’s Patrick Cover.