Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications
Louisiana Tech’s James Swash shot even-par 72 to finish tied for 25th after round one of the NCAA Norman Regional Monday at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.
Swash carded 14 pars, two birdies, and two bogeys as he shot a 36 on the front nine and back nine, all while missing only one fairway and hitting 15 of 18 greens, a round that ended up being pushed back three hours due to overnight rain.
“I thought James was really good today,” said head coach Matt Terry. “It was close to being a really low one. Even par is a great start in the first round of a regional. The course was not playing easy at times. I was really pleased with the attitude and I am anxious to see what he can do tomorrow.”
The C-USA individual champion scored par on the first 11 holes. During that stretch though, there were a few near makes for birdie to get into the red like on holes six, seven, and eight that all saw putts narrowly miss.
He broke through on the par three No. 12, firing a 7-iron from 190 yards out that settled about 12 feet from the cup. He would sink the putt to get to -1 going to the par five No. 13.
“I hit the ball really good today, off the tee and into the greens,” said Swash. “I just have to keep staying patient. You can’t win it on the first day. I’m in a good position. Hopefully, I can shoot a low round tomorrow and climb up the leaderboard.”
After finding the fairway again, Swash coupled the downwind with his hybrid and got on the green in two with a lengthy putt for eagle. He was unable to take advantage though, 3-putting for par to remain at -1.
His lone missed fairway of the day came on the following hole, going right and getting an unfortunate lie at the base of tree where he could only pitch the ball back into the fairway. He would make bogey on the par four No. 14 to fall back to even-par.
Following a great up-and-down on the extremely difficult par three No. 15, playing 260 yards into the wind, Swash found his second birdie of the day after his pitching wedge from 143 yards away finished six feet from the hole. He found the bottom of the cup.
His second 3-putt of the round came on the par four No. 17, this one resulting in a bogey. The final hole could have been another bogey after Swash’s third shot on the par five No. 18 flew the green. But, his chip shot out of the rough rolled to within six inches. It was followed by a tap-in for par to end the 18 holes with an even-par 72.
Swash tees off on Tuesday at 10:01 a.m. CT for round two of the NCAA Norman Regional.