WEST LAFAYETTE, IND.--One.
Ironically it's the answer to two trivia questions through the morning wave of the first round of the NCAA Championship.
How many rounds of 90 and over were shot?
How many rounds of 72 or lower were shot?
While Oregon's Jake Dukeminier sadly shot a 18-over 90, Kent State senior David Markle finished with a two-under 70, carding four birdies and two bogeys to finish four strokes better than any other player to finish in the first half of Wednesday's play at Purdue's treacherous Kampen Course. (Click here for all individual scores.)
"It's almost like four or five under really because it's just so hard out there," said Kent State coach Herb Page, whose team posted a 13-over 301 to finish one stroke better than Illinois for the low team score of the morning. (Click here for all team scores.)
Markle has some experience on the 7,460 yard, par-72 layout; he had a 78-70-72 showing here during the Boilermaker Invitational in April, where he finished T-40. The 23-year-old from Shelburne, Ontario had posted a 72.6 average during the spring, winning the National Invitational Tournament in Arizona in March.
"You're going to make some mistakes out there," said Markle after the round. "It's a battle of mental toughness."
An ominous tone for just how tough the course was likely to play was set with the second tee ball hit this morning. Augusta State sophomore Mitch Krywulycz's drive appeared to land no more than five yards off the fairway but couldn't be found by spotters or the players in the tall rough. After the allowed five minutes to search, the Australian had to return to the tee. He finished the day with a 17-over 89, 19 strokes high than back-to-back 70s he shot at the East Regionals.