LIHUE, Hawaii – The Arizona men’s golf team completed the first round of the 38th John A. Burns Intercollegiate in second place with a team total of 285 (-3) on Wednesday.
“Today’s round was mixed for us,” said head coach Jim Anderson. “Good in the fact that we are positioned to have a chance to win still. But we know we are going to have to go deeper than two guys to get to the top. We are chasing one of the best teams in the country, and we will need a group effort tomorrow.”
The Wildcats are led by senior Erik Oja with a score of 64 (-8) and is in first place, three strokes better than defending champion Joel Stalter of California. Oja had a strong start shooting four-under par through four holes and finishing two-under par on the final three holes.
“Anytime you have a player shoot 64, you are going to have a pretty good day as a team,” Anderson said. “Erik was calculated and committed as he plotted around the course. I was particularly proud of the way he stayed patient today. He made zero bogeys after a very fast start and a strong finish. He played clean golf today”
Also making a top-five finish for the day was senior Benson Liu with a score of 70 (-2). Liu finished in a five-way tie for fifth place.
“Benson came up huge today,” Anderson said. “We have been telling him for a long time that he belongs here and the way he kept it together until the very end will only give him more confidence going forward.”
Sophomore Kolton Lapa shot a 75 (+3) to end the day in a tie for 51st place. Behind Lapa are both Alex McMahon and Brenden Redfern who each shot for 76 (+4) and 78 (+6), respectively.
Representing Arizona as an individual, Parker Houston ended the day with a score of 76 (+4), matching McMahon’s tie for 67th place.
“The guys are excited to pick up where we left off,” Anderson said. “We’re excited for the heart of our line up to show improvement tomorrow.”
The tournament will continue Thursday, Feb. 20 with a full day designated for the second round, which is set to begin at 8 a.m.
Live results for the John A. Burns Intercollegiate will be available via golfstatresults.com. For more information on Arizona men’s golf, follow @UAWildcatsGolf on Twitter and on Facebook.com/ArizonaWildcatsGolf.