The Arkansas golf team opened the NCAA championship tied for second place with Pepperdine with a team score of 281 (+1), just one stroke behind Georgia Tech.
The team score of 281 tied for the Razorbacks’ third-best single round at the NCAA Championships, trailing 271 in 2013 and a pair of 279s.
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“I think it was a good start,” said head coach Brad McMakin. “It was really remarkable to have two guys shoot a combined 7-under on this course. You’re going to hit a ball in the desert, but you just have to find a way to minimize your mistakes. I think as this is our third year here we know how to do that. All in all, I thought our team played really well.”
Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira (66) and Wil Gibson (67), who are second and fifth respectively, led the opening day. They combined for 11 of Arkansas’ 20 birdies, with Pepperdine tying most for the first round.
The 281 tops the four-stroke program at Grayhawk Golf Club, with a 285 in the fourth round of the 2021 Championships. And Fernandez de Oliveira and Gibson’s scores are Hogs’ two highest scores in three years on the course.
Fernandez de Oliveira’s 66 is third best by a Razorback at the NCAA Championship behind Nicolas Echavarria’s 64 in 2013 and John Daly’s 65 in 1986.
“When you play in the desert you have to be patient and keep a cool head,” said Fernandez de Oliveira. “You can get really good breaks or you might have to take an unplayable (penalty). You just have to stay calm and figure out what shot you’re going to play next.