Bandon, Ore.----- A fast beginning for the first four holes helped San Jose State University men's golf team to sixth place after the first 18 holes of the Bandon Dunes Championship.
The Spartans were six-under par after four holes and finished with a one-over par team score of 285 on the 6,633-yard, par 71 Bandon Dunes Resort course.
"Today is more evidence that we are getting closer," said a cautiously optimistic San Jose State head coach John Kennaday, who likened the team's finish to a rusty gate unable to fully close.
"It was cold and there was just a little bit of a breeze which made scoring a little more possible."
After a birdie-3 on the par 4 second hole, Velo stayed under par the rest of the round. He had back-to-back birdies on #2 and #3 and #12 and #13 as part of a five-birdie, two-bogey round and was three-under for five of his last six holes.
Velo is in a five-way tie for sixth in the field of 84 golfers. Chun An Yu of Arizona State and Kyler Dunkle of Utah share the first-round lead at six-under 65.
Srinivasan had his first under-par round of golf this season with his one-under 71. He rebounded nicely after a double-bogey 6 on the par 4 13th hole with back-to-back birdies of his own the next two holes as part of a four-birdie round.
Arizona State, ranked 22nd in the latest GolfStat national rankings is the first-round team leader at 274. Clemson and Utah are tied for second at 278. Washington State at 280 and UTEP at 283 also are under par in the team standings.
"Here, you're totally at the mercy of the elements and (hole conditions) depends on the time of day. You could play the same hole in the morning and it doesn't play the same in the afternoon. It's golf as it was meant to be played. There are a lot of different ways to play a hole," Kennaday described about the links-style golf course on the Oregon coastline.
The 54-hole tournament continues with 18 holes on March 12 and concludes with a final round on March 13 beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Bandon Dunes Championship men's golf tournament
Bandon Dunes course, Bandon, Ore.
Par 71, 6,633 yards
|1. Arizona State
|4. Washington State
|6. San Jose State
| Santa Clara
|10. Southern Utah||292|
|11. Boise State
|14. Seattle University
|1. Chun An Yu, Arizona State
|Kyler Dunkle, Utah
|3. Bryson Nimmer, Clemson||66|
|Alex Del Rey Gonzalez, Arizona State
|5. Holden Backes, Gonzaga (Ind.)
|6. Kevin Velo, San Jose State
|Norman Xiong, Oregon
|Jake Vincent, Southern Utah
|Derek Bayley, Washington State
|Tobias Eden, Arizona State
|Other San Jose State scores|
|14. Vijay Srinivasan
|42. Sean Yu
|48. Sean Talmadge
|59. Bryce Wortman
|21. Ben Campbell (ind.)
|62. Nate Jenner (ind.)
|(Ind.) - played as an individual|