Arizona was one of the first teams on the tee early Friday at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, starting long before the highest-ranked teams in the NCAA Championship. But when the opening round was done, the Wildcats found themselves among some of the big names in the field.
The UA shot a 6-over-par 280 on Friday, good enough for a tie for fourth place out of 30 teams. Vanderbilt, the No. 3-ranked team in the country, leads at +2, with Oregon and Auburn at +5 and Kansas knotted with Arizona at +6.
Arizona’s team score came despite not counting the round of No. 1 golfer Christian Banke, who carded an 8-over 78 due to eight bogeys and a double on the par-4 6th. He was picked up by the play of Chaz Aurilia and Chase Sienkiewicz, both of whom nicely shot 69 to sit in a 5-way tie for third place in the individual standings and one shot off the co-leaders.
Sam Sommerhauser and Johnny Walker both shot 74, with Sommerhauser recovering from an 8 on the par-4 1st by recording three birdies in a 5-hole stretch.
Arizona will be part of the second half of teams starting on Saturday, playing with Kansas and Oregon around noon.