O'Neill Opens NCAA Regional Play with 77, Sits in Tie for 28th
Chris O'Neill

May 15, 2014

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Site: Sugar Grove, Ill.
Course: Rich Harvest Farms (par 72, 7,151 yards)
Tournament: NCAA Regional (Day 1 of 3)
U-M Team Standing: No Team Score
Top U-M Individual: Chris O'Neill, tie-28th (77)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., May 16-17 -- at NCAA Regional (Sugar Grove, Ill.)

SUGAR GROVE, Ill. -- University of Michigan men's golf sophomore Chris O'Neill (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run HS) opened NCAA Regional action Thursday (May 15) with a five-over 77 at Rich Harvest Farms, putting himself in a tie for 28th place individually.

O'Neill, who is U-M's lone representative in the NCAA postseason, leads the field's five individual competitors and is eight shots off the regional's current leader, Brian Campbell of Illinois, who fired a three-under 69 on the first day of play.

In his first career postseason NCAA event, O'Neill started off the front nine by sandwiching a streak of bogeys between birdies on Nos. 2 and 6. He then rattled off three pars to finish the front nine at one over par.

On the back nine, O'Neill fought off a three-bogey stretch with a steady string of pars from Nos. 14-17 before finishing with one more bogey on No. 18.

In the team standings, Alabama-Birmingham leads the field with a four-over 292 team score and four individuals among the field's top 11. Illinois leads all Big Ten representatives in second place, just one stroke behind the Blazers.

The NCAA Regional will continue with the second round on Friday (May 16) with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. CDT. O'Neill is scheduled to start at 10:34 a.m. CDT off the 10th tee.

Team Standings (After Day 1)

 1. UAB                   292 (+4)
 2. Illinois              293
 3. Clemson               299
    Kent State            299
 5. Jacksonville State    302
    Southern Cal          302
 7. California            305
 8. UNLV                  308
 9. Purdue                309
10. Mississippi State     315
    Cleveland State       315
12. New Mexico State      317
13. CSU Fullerton         319
14. Saint Peter's         338

Top Individuals

 1. Brian Campbell, Illinois           69 (-3)
 2. Pablo Torres, Jacksonville State   70
 3. Taylor Pendrith, Kent State        71
 4. Wilson McDonald, UAB               72
    Carson Young, Clemson              72
 6. Charlie Danielson, Illinois        73
    Paul Dunne, UAB                    73
    Brandon Hagy, California           73
    Sam Love, UAB                      73
    Anthony Paolucci, Southern Cal     73

Michigan Individuals

T28. Chris O'Neill*     77
* Playing as an individual


U-M Sophomore Chris O'Neill
On the course and how it played ... "What excites me is that I hit the ball pretty well. I just didn't score, and I missed a lot of putts today, so hopefully that changes tomorrow. It's playing tough for me. There are some really tough holes out there and some holes where bogey is not necessarily the worst score in the world because they're just that hard, but if I go out and shoot a good round tomorrow, I'll be back in the position where I want to be."

On closing his round strong and his focus during a stretch like that ... "I kind of lost my swing mid-round there. I had a couple bad holes and bogeyed three holes in a row and I was kind of lost for a little while, but I resettled and had some really good birdie looks coming in. I just couldn't get anything to go, and I was really hoping to pick up a couple shots on the last few holes, but we'll try and get them back tomorrow."

Contact: Chad Shepard