The Crimson Tide shot 5-under 275 and is five shots off Arizona State’s lead. The Sun Devils posted 10-under 270 in the morning flight with the help of John Rahm’s NCAA-record 61, which is 9 under. Host Georgia Tech is second at 6-under 274, while Illinois is fourth (276) and No. 1-ranked California is fifth at 277. Oklahoma is sixth at 278, while Texas and Oklahoma State are tied for eighth at 279.
They are playing at the par-70, 7,319-yard Crabapple Course at the Capital City Club.
“We would have loved to win the day,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said. “That is our goal every day. We had it at 11-under par at one time. Absolutely, we are happy were we are with three guys under par and a 71 and a 72. I thought it was a very solid start.”
Alabama sophomore Justin Thomas led the Tide charge with a 3-under-par round of 67. He made four birdies and just one bogey and stands in a tie for fourth place individually.
“(The course) was playing really hard this afternoon,” Thomas said. “It is already a hard course, but the greens got really firm and pretty crispy, so you really had to know where your ball is landing and where you want to putt from.”
The Crimson Tide got a 2-under-par 68 from junior Bobby Wyatt, who also carded four birdies on this round. The Mobile native is tied for eighth after the first day of play. Fellow junior Cory Whitsett shot 1-under 69 and is tied for 20th. He got to 3-under par through 15 holes only to finish with bogeys on two of his final three holes.
Scott Strohmeyer was the Tide’s final counting score Tuesday at 1-over-par 71. Only a triple bogey on the eighth hole kept him from posting an under-par round. Trey Mullinax’s 72 was dropped from Alabama’s team total in round one.
Alabama will play with California and UCLA again in the second round at the Crabapple Course on Wednesday. The Crimson Tide will tee off at 6 a.m. on the first hole. The field will cut to the top eight teams after three rounds Thursday and then play three rounds of match play to crown a national champion.