WAIMEA, Hawaii – No. 5 Washington’s Finn Koelle carded a career-low 66 during the first round of the Amer Ari on Thursday, leading the Huskies and tying for eighth on the leaderboard.
At 12-under par as a team, UW sits in a tie for eighth after Day One at Mauna Lani’s North Course.
Beginning the day on the ninth hole, Koelle made his move on holes 15-18, rattling off four-straight birdies, finishing the back-nine at four-under. The true freshman also closed strong, birdying the seventh and eighth holes to finish the day.
“Finn played awesome today,” assistant coach Chris Babcock said. “That’s a big round to keep us afloat in a great field. Even though he’s a freshman I’m not surprised to see him leading the team today. Finn always fights not matter what. Good or bad he’s going to give everything.”
Meanwhile, Petr Hruby used a four-under front nine, including an eagle on the second hole, to sit in a tie for 22nd at four-under for the day. Bo Peng registered four birdies and just one bogey for a two-under day, while Taehoon Song and Teddy Lin finished even and one-over, respectively.
Playing unattached, Drew Warford rode a strong start and an eagle on hole No. 2 to an even-par first round.
“We got off to a slow start today but there were definitely some positive take aways,” Babcock said. “Tee-to-green we were solid and we played the par 4s well. We just weren’t as sharp as we needed to be around the greens on par 5s. That’s a little uncharacteristic for our guys.”
The Huskies will resume play Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. PT during a shotgun start, teeing off from holes 1-3 matched up with Oregon State, San Jose State and Pacific.
“We’ve got an experienced team. I expect that we will clean that up tomorrow and post a low score,” Babcock said.
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