LUBBOCK, Texas — Indian Hills hasn't always led after the first day of play on the way to winning the last two NJCAA Division I Men's National Golf Tournaments.
But the Warriors certainly haven't faced a first-day deficit like this recently.
After working hard through the first half of their first round Tuesday at the national tournament, the Warriors saw their opening 18-hole score blow apart in the winds of West Texas. Mistake after mistake sank IHCC farther and farther down the leader board, dropping IHCC from third place midway through round one to 16th place by the end of day one.
Indian Hills will tee off early today at 7:30 a.m. 13 shots behind first-round co-leaders Midland and Odessa. Third-ranked IHCC's first round of 304 leaves them with a lot of shots and even more teams to navigate around over the next three days and 54 holes in order to win a third consecutive national championship.
"We didn't play too well," Indian Hills head coach Mike Hagen said. "Kevin (Workman) got off to a hot start. He was three-under par through 11 and ended up shooting a 76. Ben (Ludlam) couldn't battle back after a little bit of a slow start. William (White) had the most consistent day and still only shot a 74. Even Connor (Peck's) 75 was up and down and Mitch (Tucker) couldn't make any birdies."
"We just dug ourselves into a hole."
Thanks to Workman, who found himself among the top five Warrior scorers after finishing second individually at the NJCAA District III Tournament, IHCC was able to hang around despite a somewhat slow start from the rest of the IHCC golfers. High winds began to pick up as the Warriors teed off on the 11th hole, leading to several more errors that ballooned the scores of every Indian Hills golfer.