Georgia (mistakenly) shares first-round lead with OSU
__TOLEDO--__It could have been worse for Georgia. Much worse actually.
Had Hudson Swafford mistakenly put down a birdie 3 on his scorecard when he made a par 4 on the ninth hole at Inverness Club, the junior would have been disqualified for having signed for a score lower than the one he actually shot.
Thankfully for him--and the top-ranked Bulldogs--the opposite took place. Since Swafford put down a par 4 when he actually made a birdie 3, he merely had to accept a two-over 73 when he actually shot a 72.
Still, the one-stroke difference meant that Georgia had to share lead with second-ranked Oklahoma State after the completion of the first round Tuesday, the two schools each posting four-over 288 scores.
"It's a shame," Georgia coach Chris Haack. "You'd like to think you'd want to make sure you counted all your birdies because they're pretty precious things at Inverness."
Before learning of Swafford's error, Haack had expressed satisfaction with his team's performance, with Brian Harman and Russell Henley both posting even-par 71s and Harris English shooting a 73.
"It was tough out there today," Haack said. "The wind picked up [in the afternoon]. It's a survival test. At any given time it can bite you."
Oklahoma State coach Mike McGraw was equally happy to get around the par-71, 7,255-yard Donald Ross course without any major mishaps. The Cowboys counted a 71 from Trent Leon, 72s from__Rickie Fowler__ and Morgan Hoffmann, and a 73 from__Peter Uihlein__.
"I'm pleased," he said, his team starting on the 10th tee, making the turn at four under, then dropped to six over at one point on Inverness' front side before making a couple birdies coming in. "It could have really gotten away from us but we were able to right the ship somehow."
While it appeared that the afternoon wave would get the best of the weather Tuesday, the sun peeking out after light rain fell most of the morning, the clouds returned late in the day, along with 15 mph winds that prevented many red numbers from getting on the board. To wit: Chattanooga's eight-over 292 from the morning wave left the Mocs in third place, four off the lead.
Hill, a sophomore from Brights Grove, Ontario, who is a contender for national player of the year after winning five of his last six events, appeared as if he would have the outright lead until he bogeyed the 18th hole. Conversely, Langley drained a 25-foot birdie putt on 18 to earn his place atop the leader board despite making a double bogey and two bogeys during his round.
"I played solid golf but I wouldn't say I played my best," Langley said. "I just told myself to hang in there and was able to get a couple putts like the one on 18 to fall."
Had Swafford accidentally signed for a lower score than he shot and been disqualified, Georgia would have counted Adam Mitchell's 79 and finished six strokes worse, putting themselves in a four-way tie for fifth at 10-over with Ohio State, Arizona State and Tennessee. Swafford also would have been allowed to play the second and third round of stroke play and all rounds of match play, should Georgia advance that far. He would have been ineligible to win medalist honors.
Along with Langley and Hill, three other players from the afternoon wave broke par at Inverness: UCLA's Phillip Francis, Washington's__Nick Taylor__ and Tennessee's David Holmes, each posting one-under 70s.
The day's overall scoring average: 75.74