BATH, Mich. – The Michigan State men’s golf team is tied for second place after shooting a 12-under-par 272 on the first day of the NCAA Bath Regional at Eagle Eye Golf Club on Monday.
Playing under sunny skies and temperatures reaching the low-70s, the Spartans’ team score of 272 tied for the lowest 18-hole score in program history at an NCAA Regional (272 at 2019 Pullman Regional). It also marked the second-best 18-hole score this season for MSU (school-record 265 on Oct. 17 at Quail Valley Collegiate Invitational) and tied for second-best overall in program history.
“It was a really good start,” said MSU men’s golf head coach Casey Lubahn. “We played 18 kind of rough, but other than that, they were steady, they were comfortable, made some putts and managed their golf ball really well.
“It was one day, but you can lose it on the first day and we put ourselves in an awesome position.”
No. 34 Georgia leads the 13-team field by six shots with an 18-under-par 266. Third-ranked Illinois is tied with MSU for second at 272 and defending national champion and No. 15 Texas is in fourth at 275. Little Rock and No. 22 Oregon are tied for fifth place (279). The top-five teams in the regional will advance to the NCAA Championships.
Fueled by six birdies, fifth-year senior Troy Taylor II tied a career-low with a 5-under-par 66 to pace the Spartans. He is currently tied for second place and just one shot back of tournament leader Ben Van Wyk of Georgia, who shot a 65 (-6). Taylor’s round of 66 is tied for the second-best individual round by a Spartan at an NCAA Regional (record: 65 by Donnie Trosper at 2019 Pullman Regional).
The Spartans started on the back nine and Taylor got things going with a birdie on the par-4, 408-yard 10th hole. He then recorded par on three consecutive holes (11-13) before notching birdies on three of his next four holes (14-17). Every member of the MSU starting lineup recorded birdies on the par-5 14th, but the Spartans shot a collective 3-over on the par-5 18th to close the first nine holes.
After rounding the turn, Michigan State had 10 birdies that counted toward the final team score on holes 1-9, led by sophomore Ashton McCulloch with four, to move into a tie for second. Taylor had two birdies and seven pars to close his career-best round of 66, while McCulloch shot a 4-under 31 to finish at…
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