Rebels Battle Through Opening Round of Bryan Regional
May 14, 2018


BRYAN, Texas
– After a roller coaster opening round, the No. 6 seeded Ole Miss men’s golf team found itself holding on to that sixth-place spot following the conclusion of day one at the NCAA Bryan Regional. Led by a 3-under 69 from defending national champion Braden Thornberry, the Rebels fired a 294 (+6) at Traditions Club to sit just one stroke off the cut line with two rounds remaining.

The top three seeds all stood their ground after 18 holes with the Texas A&M Aggies shooting a 279 (-9) on their home course to grab a three-shot lead over Baylor (282). Clemson (283) sits four strokes back, while UCLA finds itself at even par (288). Holding the coveted fifth spot is fellow SEC member South Carolina at 5-over (293).

Thornberry used five birdies to counter a pair of bogeys for his round of 69, just one off the lead. The Ben Hogan Award finalist birdied his first two holes of the day and ended his round with a 20-foot birdie on the par-4 ninth. For the fifth time in NCAA Tournament play, out of eight rounds, Thornberry broke 70.

Starting on the back nine, Ole Miss jumped into the top three early thanks to birdies from Thornberry, Josh Seiple and Cecil Wegener. Beginning his NCAA title defense, Thornberry rolled back-to-back birdie putts inside 15 feet to jump off to a fast start. Wegener, a freshman, birded his first hole of NCAA Regional play. Tackling the par-3 11th, Seiple made a birdie and cruised to 1-under through four holes. While Thornberry and Wegener both took advantage of No. 15 with birdies on the par 5, the Rebels struggled through Nos. 14-18. Ole Miss made nine bogeys and one double bogey as a team during the five-hole stretch, dropping all the way down to 11th place in the 13-team field.

The Rebels flipped the switch at the turn. Seiple and Briggs both birdied No. 1, their 10th hole of the day, to gather some momentum and confidence. Seiple added another birdie on the par-5 fifth, dropping a downhill bomb from the fringe. He shot a 35 (-1) on his last nine holes to post a 74 (+2), the second-best score on the team. For Briggs, it was the first of three birdies over the next six holes. The Covington, Louisiana, native started off rocky with a pair of double bogeys, but he played the final 16 holes at 1-under. Firing a 2-under 34 coming in, he ended the round with a 75 (+3). Briggs played the par 4s 2-under for the day, which is tied for the best par-4 scoring in the field.

Wegener birdied three of the four par 5s, joining Thornberry for the lead in that category, to help combat two double bogeys en route to a 76 (+4). After making birdie on his first hole of the day, he added another on his 17th hole before a par on the last concluded his NCAA Regional debut.

Three Rebels played the final nine under par, and Ole Miss will look to carry that momentum into tomorrow. Just like today, the Rebels will tee off No. 10 tomorrow morning (May 15) beginning at 8 a.m. CT. Ole Miss will be paired with fourth-place UCLA and fifth-place South Carolina.

Malloy’s Minute
“I’m really proud of the way that our guys fought on the back nine today,” said head coach Chris Malloy. “We had it going in the wrong direction through 10 holes and really dug deep to find a way to hold it together. I’m confident that this group will bounce back tomorrow and play their best golf of the week over the final two days.”

Rebel Results
T4. Braden Thornberry 69 (-3)
T37. Josh Seiple 74 (+2)
T43. Beau Briggs 75 (+3)
T49. Cecil Wegener 76 (+4)
T65. Kerry Sweeney 79 (+7)

Team Leaderboard (Golfstat Ranking)
1. #2 Texas A&M 279 (-9)
2. #11 Baylor 282 (-6)
3. #14 Clemson 283 (-5)
4. #26 UCLA 288 (E)
5. #38 South Carolina 293 (+5)
6. #34 Ole Miss 294 (+6)
7. Bradley 297 (+9)
8. #23 Kentucky 298 (+10)
9. Mississippi State 300 (+12)
10. #50 Georgia 303 (+15)
11. #47 San Francisco 304 (+16)
T12. UNCW 306 (+18)
T12. Northern Colorado 306 (+18)

Remaining Tournament Schedule
Tuesday, May 15 (18 holes)
Round 2 - Stroke Play (8:00 a.m. – 8:44 a.m. CT tee times off No. 10)

Wednesday, May 16 (18 holes)
Round 3 - Stroke Play (Tee Times)

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