The sixth-ranked Wildcats, competing in its first tournament of the season, posted an opening-round total of 290 (+2) and is in fourth place in the 23-team field. Four of Arizona's five golfers carded a 73 or better and are within six shots of the lead. BYU leads the team competition with a team total of 280 (-8), five strokes ahead of host New Mexico and nine ahead of third-place UNLV. All four teams are ranked in the top 20 of the MasterCard college golf poll.
Arizona's Brandon Smith, a junior from Veradale, Wash., stands in a tie for fourth place after 18 holes with a two-under-par 70. Smith is competing as an individual in this event and his totals do not count in the team standings. He is three strokes off the pace set by BYU's Billy Harvey, who fired an opening-round 67 (-5).
A pair of Wildcat golfers are currently in the top 15 after shooting an opening-round 72. Junior Cody Beyer and sophomore Reid Hatley came in at even par and are among a group of eight golfers five strokes off the lead. Sophomore Ricky Barnes, last season's national Freshman of the Year, and freshman Chris Nallen each are one stroke behind after first-round scores of 73. Freshman Andy Connell is in 111th place with a first-round score of 80.
The 54-hole tournament continues through Sunday at the Championship Course, a par 72, 7,253-yard layout. The event is hosted by the University of New Mexico and is the second-oldest college golf tournament in the nation.