By Mike Pilosof
Garden City, KS-Mother nature dominated the narrative on day one of the 2017 NJCAA National Golf Championships at Buffalo Dunes on Tuesday afternoon.
With thunderstorms and persistent wind all day, Garden City tied Pima for 18th with a first-round 312 while Odessa shot a field-best 284 and was 4-under par, taking the lead into day two on Wednesday.
"I don't think I played very well against the field," Broncbuster golfer Nathan Roy said. "As a team, I don't think we could have played any worse."
Roy finished the day tied for 81st after shooting 7-over par. He started well before bogeying six out of his 18 holes.
"I have to be better," Roy admitted. "We can't let the weather effect our play. We know how to play in the wind."
Luke Russell paced Garden City with a 5-over par 77; good for 63rd place. The sophomore parred his first four holes before bogeying five out of his next eight. But the all-region player had a big birdie-put on 13 and parred 14, 16, 17 and 18 to finish his day.
Jordan Bishop and Scott Campbell were one shot back of Russell at 6-over, while Dominic Pollock finished tied for 81st at 7-over. Pollock started very well with birdies on 2 and 4, and was 3-over through nine. But a double bogey on 10 pushed him to 5-over. He eventually birdied 13 and drained three par puts on his final five holes.
"Hopefully our early-morning tee time will benefit us tomorrow," Roy said. "I need to play much better. "We have the confidence that we can be better."
Odessa's Augustin Hole turned some heads on day one, shooting a 3-under par 69. It was an impressive display as Hole tapped in five birdies; four of those on the back nine. He was 4-under over the final nine holes.
Ricky Sanders from Indian Hills, along with Eastern Florida State's Brad Bawden, Odessa's Van Thomas, Iowa Western's Dale Crothers and Matthew Terry from Spartanburg were all one shot back at 2-under.