(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Making history on Monday morning at the PGA National Resort Golf Course, Garrett Woodin became the first Montana State University Billings men’s golfer to compete at the NCAA Division II Championships.
Woodin fired a first-round score of 7-over-par 79 on the par-72, 7,051-yard course, and is in a tie for 45th place among the field of 84 competitors. “I felt like I played really solid for the first 14 holes,” Woodin said. “The last four holes are incredibly tough and they just maximize any errors you make. I expect to play well tomorrow and just try to get more comfortable on the course each day.”
One of four individuals nationwide to qualify for the event, Woodin’s day started on a positive note with a birdie on the par-4, 365-yard first hole. The senior counteracted three bogeys with three birdies, and settled for a 2-over-par 38 over the first nine holes of the day.
Woodin made a birdie on the par-5, 525-yard 10th hole, and kept his scorecard at 1-over-par through the first 14 holes of the day. He battled through a tough stretch of four holes to finish his first round at the event, and managed to break the 80 mark on the championship course layout.
In addition to his birdies to start each set of nine holes, Woodin’s round was highlighted by a birdie on the par-3, 171-yard fifth hole where he hit his tee shot to 15 feet and sank the putt. Perhaps his shot of the day came on the par-4, 427-yard eighth hole, where he drained a 50-foot birdie putt from the front of the green after muscling a drive into the wind.
“Garrett played a solid round,” said MSUB head coach Jeff Allen. “The first 14 holes he was great. There is very little room for error on this golf course, especially in the bear trap. He made a few swings that the wind just ate up and those really cost him. He is hitting good shots, his speed control on the greens is great, and he’s excited for the challenge that this course presents. Tomorrow will be another fun day.”
Santiago De La Fuente of Arkansas Tech University and Ian Trebilcock of Washburn University are tied for first place after each shooting a 1-under-par 71 on Monday. Arkansas Tech is in first place with a team round of 295, holding a four-stroke lead over second place Georgia Southwestern University.
TOMORROW: Action resumes on Tuesday morning with the second round of the championships. Woodin is scheduled to tee off at 11:32 a.m. Eastern time and live results will be available online here [results.golfstat.com].
ABOUT THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Woodin qualified for the NCAA Championships by finishing in third place at last week’s NCAA West/South Central Regional Championships as he was the top individual not on one of the four teams that advanced to the national tournament. In addition to being the first men’s golf representative at the championships, Woodin is the second overall MSUB golfer as he joins Kalli (Stanhope) Allen who made the NCAA Championships during her freshman year in the spring of 2008.