Rochester Shoots 65 to Lead Field; Team in Third After First Round in Auburn
April 8, 2005
Auburn, Ala. - Freshman Ian Rochester shot a career best seven-under 65 and leads the field by four strokes after one round of the Billy Hitchcock Intercollegiate on Friday. As a team, the Tigers shot a seven-over 295 and are in third place after one round. Memphis is five strokes behind second place Charlotte and 12 behind first place and host Auburn.
Rochester, a graduate of Cordova High School whose previous career best at Memphis was a 71 earlier this year, shot a 32 on the front nine and a 33 on the back at the Auburn University Club. The 32 was the best of any player on the front by two strokes and the 33 on the back was matched by only four other golfers. The 65 is tied for the best round by a Memphis individual this year, matching the 65 put up by Andy Shiels in the final round of the Missouri Bluffs Challenge in October. Shiels won individual medalist honors at that event. The 65 is also tied for the second best round in school history with Shiels, just one stroke shy of tying the record of 64. The seven-under score is also the lowest single round score in relation to par this year for the Tigers, as Shiels' 65 occurred on a par 71 course. Rochester had 10 birdies and was actually at nine-under par until he double-bogeyed the final hole, which caused him to miss the course record at the University Club by just one stroke. It was also the second lowest round in the history of the Billy Hitchcock Intercollegiate, topped only by Alex Rocha of Mississippi State, who shot a 62 in 2000 at the Saugahatchee Country Club, the previous home course of this tournament.
"Ian did everything well today," said Memphis coach Grant Robbins. "He hit the ball well, made a ton of putts, and hit most of the fairways and greens in regulation."
"On 18, I was feeling real good over my driver and just pulled it left," Rochester said. "I punched out and had a bad lie and then three-putted. I played well. Every putt that I looked at, I felt real confident and felt like it was going in. I was hitting the ball well. It was just one of those magical days where everything was clicking. I feel like all the hard work I have been doing paid off."
Also in the top ten for the Tigers is freshman Keven Fortin-Simard, who shot an even par 72 (35-37) and is tied for seventh with four other individuals. Andy Shiels had a tough front nine, carding a 43 on the opening half but rebounded with a 35 on the back to finish at six-over 78 where he is tied for 42nd. Justin Miers is the next Tiger on the leaderboard as he shot eight-over 80 (40-40) and is tied for 54th. Robbie Greenwell had a forgettable 10-over 82 that was not counted toward the team score.
The Tigers lead fourth place Ole Miss by three strokes and UAB and South Alabama, who are tied for fifth, by four strokes. Tournament leader Auburn has four individuals in the top 10.
"Keven played solid on a tough course, which played long because it was so wet. We will have to consistently drive the ball well and keep it in play," said Robbins. "We also will have to get production from our three, four, and five players. Keven and Ian are playing solid right now so I am pleased with that and that we still in contention in a good field, especially coming off last week's performance. To bounce back like this is really encouraging. However, we can't count on a 65 every round. We need to have more balance throughout the lineup."