May 19, 2000
MOOSIC, Pa. - Called back to Glenmaura National Golf Club on Friday morning at 6:45 a.m. to finish the opening round of the NCAA East Regional golf tournament, Maryland seniors Keith Unikel (Potomac, Md.) and Gary Mankulish (Laurel, Md.) both shot 76 in a soggy, rain-shortened first round of NCAA competition.
Paired together and seeded first and second among the six individuals who are playing without their teams, Unikel and Mankulish stayed together from start to finish. Both shot 40 on the back nine of the par 71, 6,847-yard Glenmaura track on Thursday. When wind and rain disrupted the round in the late afternoon, the pair was caught in the middle of the course's front nine. Their final holes were completed early Friday morning and both carded 36 on the front.
Like the rest of the field, however, scores were typically high across the board. Only 11 of the nationally-prominent field including four of the country's top 10-ranked competitors, shot par or better in the first round. Georgia Tech's Matt Kuchar, for instance, ranked No. 3 entering the tournament, joined the Maryland duo at 40 on the course's back nine. Kuchar (74, +3) finished his round late Thursday evening and carded a 74, just two strokes ahead of Unikel and Mankulish.
For Unikel, who averaged 72.20 during his senior spring and never fired a round above 75, the round did represent his highest score of the season, and his highest since Sept. 14 at the Kiawah Island Intercollegiate in South Carolina. In his last three tournaments, Unikel has averaged 70.88 per round.
Unikel and Mankulish are playing for a berth to next week's NCAA Championships which are awarded to the two lowest-scoring individuals not playing with one of the tournament's top 11 teams. Currently, the pair is tied for 58th overall, out of 141 participants, at 5-over par. Though among individuals outside the top 11 teams, the Terrapin pair is tied for 25th.
Overall, East Tennessee State (291, +7) holds a one stroke lead over Clemson (292, +8) and a two-stroke advantage over Mississippi State (293, +9) and Virginia (293, +9) in team standings. Five schools from the Atlantic Coast Conference, including fifth-place NC State and Wake Forest, and Georgia Tech in 10th, are among the tournament's top 10 teams.
Four individuals boast a tie for first place at two-under par 69. After one round, the top individuals from outside the top 11 competing teams are Tennessee's Derrick Centers (71, E) and Florida's Ben Banks (71, E), both five strokes ahead of Unikel and Mankulish.
NCAA East Regional -- Individual Results (18 holes) 1. Carl Pettersson, NC State 69 -2 James Driscoll, Virginia 69 -2 Matt Borchert, No. Florida 69 -2 Michael Morrison, Georgia 69 -2 5. Jonathan Byrd, Clemson 70 -1 Lucas Glover, Clemson 70 -1 Thomas Lee, E. Tenn. St. 70 -1 8. *Derrick Centers, Tennessee 71 E Bryce Molder, Georgia Tech 71 E Ben Smith, Mississippi St. 71 E *Ben Banks, Florida 71 E
* - The two lowest-scoring individuals who are not among the regional's top 11 teams will earn a bid to next week's NCAA Championships. Centers and Banks would draw the berths through 18 holes while Maryland's Unikel and Mankulish are tied for 25th among contenders for the two individual spots.