May 17, 2001
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
University of Wyoming senior DavidHearn fired an opening round 74 on Thursday at the NCAA West Regional.Hearn is seven strokes back of leader John Merrick of UCLA, who shot a 67.Hearn is tied for 50th in the field of 141 collegiate golfers.
The NCAA West Regional is being played at the Trysting Tree GolfCourse in Corvallis, Ore., and is being hosted by Oregon State University.Thursday's round was the first of three 18-hole rounds to be played in thetournament. The second round will be played on Friday, May 18, with thefinal round to be contested on Saturday, May 19. Hearn's 74 was two-overpar on the par 72 Trysting Tree course that measures 7,060 yards.
"David (Hearn) played a solid round today," said UW men's golf coachRoger Prenzlow. "David is still in position to make a run at the NCAAChampionship. He is only three shots out of the Top 10 entering the secondround, and he has the skill and the poise to make up some ground tomorrow.
"This field is filled with the best of the best in college golf, andDavid has proven he is among the best over his four-year college career.Reaching the NCAA Championship is his final goal as a collegiate golfer.He'll just have to continue to play his game and see what happens over thefinal two days here in the regional."
Hearn is attempting to be the first Wyoming golfer to advance to theNCAA Championships. He already made UW history by being the first Wyominggolfer to qualify for three consecutive NCAA Regionals. The top 10 teamsfrom each NCAA Regionaland the top two individuals, who are not a member of one of those top 10teams, will advance into the NCAA Championship.
In the team competition, Arizona State jumped out to the first-daylead with a five-under par team score of 283. Stanford is one shot back at284. Wake Forest holds on to third place with a 288, and three teams aretied for fourth at 289 -- Arizona, San Diego State and UCLA.
There are a total of three NCAA Regionals. All three Regionals arebeing played on the same dates, Thursday-Saturday, May 17-19. The EastRegional is being held at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg,Va., and is being hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University. OklahomaState University is hosting the Central Regional at the Karsten Creek GolfCourse in Stillwater, Okla. The NCAA Championship will be held onWednesday-Saturday, May 30 - June 2 at the Duke University Golf Club inDurham, N.C., with Duke serving as the host institution.
Hearn, a senior from Brantford, Ontario, also made history a yearago when he qualified for his second consecutive NCAA Regional. No other UWgolfer had earned two consecutive trips to the NCAAs prior to Hearn's. Theonly other UW men's golfers to reach the NCAA Regionals as individuals were:Dave McCleave in 1990 and Pat Fry in 1995. McCleave also was a member ofthe 1992 Wyoming squad which qualified for the NCAA West Regional as a team.
During the 2001 spring season, Hearn fought his way back from awrist injury that hampered him early in the spring. He is coming off a10th-place finish at the 2001 Mountain West Conference Championship where healso was named to the All-Conference team for the first time in his career.He has finished in the Top 10 individuals at each of the last threeconference championships he has played. As a sophomore in 1999, Hearn tiedfor seventh out of 80 competitors at the Western Athletic ConferenceChampionship. He went on to tie for 17th out of 93 competitors at the '99NCAA West Regional. His junior season of 2000, Hearn tied for eighth out of40 competitors at the inaugural Mountain West Conference Championship, andfinished in a tie for 90th out of 141 competitors at the 2000 West Regional.