Happy Homecoming Leads to Four-Under
Sophomore returns to hometown and lead Lions to best single round since Sept. 2004 and top-10 after round one.
May 18, 2006
Tucson, AZ (May 18) -- Loyola Marymount sophomore Josh Escobedo has played the Omni Tucson National Golf Club many times in his career, dating back to his days at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson. Well, the Tucson native made it a happy homecoming as he led the Lions with a three-under par 69 in the first round of the 2006 NCAA West Regional.
It was an all-around successful opening round to the Lions' first-ever trip to the NCAA Regional. The Lions, who earned the West Coast Conference automatic bid when they won the WCC championship in April, had three players under par on the day, as the team finished with its best single round score in more than 18 months with a 284. LMU had the fourth best score among the morning session as they equaled the 284 they shot at the Vandal Fall Classic on Sept. 26, 2004.
The Lions sit in a three-way tie for 10th place with East Tennessee State and Arizona State. The Lions are a single stroke out of seventh, where three team are tied at five-under, shooting a 283 - Stanford, Pepperdine and UC Irvine. BYU, North Carolina State and Nevada are in a three-way tie for fourth at a six-under, 282.
Rounding out the top-three where Florida at 15-under (273), host Arizona at nine-under (279) and Fresno State at eight-under (280). The top-10 teams from the three NCAA Regionals advance to the NCAA Championship in Sunriver, Ore., May 31 - June 3.
"This was a great first day for us," said Head Coach Alex Galvan. "I am so proud of how our team is playing. Four-under par in our very first NCAA Regional is more than what I could have hoped for. The best part is that the players aren't satisfied and will be striving to do better. In fact they are wanting to head to the driving range now."
The Lions, who started the day on the 10th and finished on the ninth, handled the 94-degree heat well as Escobedo led the Lions with six birdies, three on each side of the 7,200-yard, par-72 course. Sitting a five-under, Escobedo hit his approach to within 10-feet of the cup on the ninth green. He hit a perfect putt that curved left to right and lipped in.
Escobedo is one of 11 players who finished with a first-round of 69. Escobedo is three strokes behind leader Dustin Pimm of Utah who shot a 66. Four players are in a tie for second at a five-under 67 and nine players are in a tie for sixth with a four-under 68.
Freshman Brian Locke, who won the WCC individual title, posted a two-under 70. He finished the day with four birdies and 12 pars. Senior Chaz Inouye had one of his best rounds of the year with one-under 71. Sitting at even par on the par-5, 587-yard eighth, Inouye got on the green in two and two putt to go one-under.
Sophomore Jason D'Amore had a rollercoaster type day, starting the day three-under after the first four holes. He ended then struggled at the turn, going five-over par on the final four holes for a 38 in the opening nine. He recovered to go even par on his final nine holes, hitting birdie on two and eight. He finished with a two-over par 74.
Freshman Louie Bergna finished the day with an 81 as the final half of the field will finish the first round late Thursday afternoon. The Lions will tee-off at the end of the second group on Friday. The Lions will start at 12:59 with the final golfer going off at 1:37. Follow all the action live through www.LMULions.com.