The Tennessee men’s golf team is in the middle of the pack after the first round of the NCAA championships at the Capital City Club — Crabapple Course in Atlanta.
The Vols shot 6-over-par 286 Monday, good for a tie for 14th in the 30-team field.
Arizona State, one of the teams grouped with UT along with UCF, leads at 10 under behind the course-record setting 9-under 61 of Jon Rahm.
The top eight teams at the end of the three-round event will qualify for the match play championship May 31-June 2. Tennessee is seven strokes back of eighth place.
To say the Vols were anchored Monday by Rick Lamb would be an understatement. Lamb shot a 68 and is in a tie for eighth.
After Lamb, the next Vol on the leaderboard isn’t found until 49th, where Oliver Goss sits in a tie after shooting 71.
Lamb got off to a blistering start off the back nine, with three birdies in his first six holes. He made bogeys on Nos. 16 and 18 but rebounded by playing the front nine with eight pars and a birdie on the par-3 No. 3.
Lamb, a senior, is making his first appearance in the NCAA championships.
“I played pretty well today. I just tried to hit it in the center of the greens and play conservative,” Lamb said in a school release. “I made some pretty good putts. I made a real long one on the par-3 15th. I got a bad break on 16 when my ball plugged in the lip of the bunker. It is what it is though. You just have to take it and keep playing. Going forward, I look to keep the same mentality: play safe and just make a lot more putts tomorrow.”
Mike Nagy shot a 72 for Tennessee and is tied for 66th. Jay Vandeventer and Brandon Rodgers each scored 75 and are tied for 126th.
Nagy’s day got off to a rough start with a double-bogey on No. 10. But Nagy played the rest of the back nine 2 under to level his round before two bogeys on the front nine.
Vandeventer’s card on the back nine would have served useful in geometry classes with all the circles and squares. The senior started with a bogey, then strung together three straight birdies before five straight bogeys. His first par of the day came on his tenth hole played.
“It was a little disappointing today because we got off to such a quick start and then it turned. It looked like we had just had one too many mistakes. We had a few three putts and so on and those add up,” UT coach Jim Kelson said.
The Vols tee off at 1:30 Wednesday.