May 16, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis senior Tyler Raber ended his round with four straight birdies and had five on his final six holes, shooting a 5-under 67 in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Pullman Regional on Thursday at Palouse Ridge Golf Club.
Raber is the Aggies' lone representative at the regional after earning one of five regional berths at the tournament. He's trying to finish as the lowest-scoring player not on one of the five teams that will qualify for the NCAA Finals later this month.
Raber scored an early birdie on the par-4 2nd hole which he balanced with a bogey on the next hole. Nine straight pars then filled his scorecard before a crucial chip, after his approach shot went past the12th green, landed inches from the cup and helped him save par with a tap-in.
He followed that by nearly making a hole-in-one on the par-3, 232-yard 13th hole. Raber drained the 12-foot birdie putt to move back to 1 under.
"He didn't have much going on the front nine but the key were the 12th and 13th holes," said Aggie coach Cy Williams. "He had a long pitch-and-putt and then almost made a hole-in-one. Those two holes saved his round and (sparked) the rest of his day."
After posting par on the par-4 14th hole, Raber then birdied the last four, including a pair of long par-5 holes to end the day.
Sam Smith of USC shot a course-record 10-under 62 during Thursday's round and has a one-shot lead over Mac McClung of Saint Mary's. Forty-eight players broke par in the first round.
Raber is tied for 15th with Cory Gaylor of Memphis and Riccardo Michelini of San Diego State.
"Tyler's right where he needs to be," said Williams.
Top-ranked Cal shot 23-under 265 in the opening round and leads No. 21 Saint Mary's by two shots. San Diego is third, three shots off the pace.
Raber will tee off the second round on the 10th beginning at 10:23 a.m. on Friday.
NCAA PULLMAN REGIONAL
Pullman, Wash. (hosted by Washington State)
Palouse Ridge Golf Course
Par 72, 7,308 yards
18 of 54 holes
1. California, 265
2. Saint Mary's, 267
3. San Diego State, 270
4. USC, 272
5. Pacific, 274
T6. TCU, 276
T6. Memphis, 276
T8. Virginia Tech, 277
T8. North Texas, 277
10. Ball State, 281
11. BYU, 282
12. Baylor, 289
13. Princeton, 292
14. St. Francis (Pa.), 300
1. Sam Smith, USC, 62
T15. Tyler Raber, 67
Corfee, Knight earn All-Big West accolades
Four teams earn
NCAA Public Recognition Awards