UCLA’s Patrick Murphy and Clemson’s Zack Gordon share the Lead at 63 (-8) after Round 1 of the 2018 Ka’anapali Classic – Collegiate Invitational
Lahaina, HI – The tradewinds were calm today, allowing for some birdie opportunities during round one of the 2018 Ka’anapali Classic – Collegiate Invitational and both Patrick Murphy (UCLA) and Zack Gordon took advantage of it, firing an impressive 63 (-8). Team Clemson also shot a team best 262 (-22) to take the lead today, four strokes ahead of California at 266.
Zack Gordon started off his day with an early eagle on #6 (he started on #3), followed by seven birdies and just one bogey. Gordon and his teammates, Turk Pettit (T4), Jacob Bridgeman (T8) and Bryson Nimmer (T20) take the lead as a team and hope to earn back the 2016 trophy here at Ka’anapali (they did not attend the event in 2017). California is just four strokes back, with Collin Morikawa (T8), 2017 Champion, KK Limbhasut (T8), Sebastian Crampton (T8) and James Song (T20). Georgia sits at 268, just six strokes off the lead and with 36 holes to play, it’s still anyone’s game.
UCLA Senior Patrick Murphy showed in impressive scorecard today with two eagles on holes #1 and #9, five birdies and just one bogey. “This is my first time to Ka’anapali and so far I really like it,” Murphy laughs. He continued, “The eagle on my first hole (#1) set the tone for the day – I played a pretty conservative drive, leaving me a little longer to the pin than I hoped. I took dead aim at the pin with a 2-iron and it was my best shot all day – I stuck it to six feet and made the putt.” Murphy stated, “I didn’t miss any putts within 10 feet today – I really like the greens here - Hawaii greens can sometimes be tricky because of the grain, but I like it, it’s a fun challenge for me.”
Scott Stevens of South Carolina, who came in second place in the 2017 event, sits at third place after today, posting a 64 (-7), just one stroke off the lead. Stevens has proven himself on the Royal Ka’anapali Course and will be in the hunt all weekend.
Four players T4 at 65 (-6) today including West Virginia University sophomore, Matthew Sharpstene, Sacrament State freshman Joe Fowler, Georgia junior Spencer Ralston and Clemson’s Turk Pettit. Matthew Sharpstene got a late round boost when he eagled #9 and commented on the hole, “The wind was down on that hole and I hit a pretty good drive, leaving me 165 yards in – I hit a little draw with my 9-iron to give me a 10 foot straight putt for eagle.” Sharpstene continue, “I got off to a slow start, having a hard time making some putts at first today, but I just tried to stay with my game plan and let the work show.”
Sacramento State freshman Joe Fowler had never been to Hawaii before this trip to Ka’anapali and his goal was just to “play some boring golf – I wanted to give myself some good looks at birdies today” and he did posting eight birdies in his round. Fowler added, “I hit a lot of close shots today and made some good putts - I think I figured out how to putt on these greens and got a good start today for the tournament.”
The fifth annual Ka’anapali Classic – Collegiate Invitational is a 54-hole, individual and team stroke-play tournament features golfers from Boise, California (Long Beach and Los Angeles), Clemson, Connecticut, George Washington, Georgia, Gonzaga, Hawaii-Manoa (host), Houston, Kansas, Northern Florida, Oklahoma, Sacramento State, South Carolina, Southern Illinois, U.S. Air Force Academy, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Updates and scores are posted on Ka’anapali’s Facebook page, Instagram @kaanapaligolf and #kaanapaliclassic18 or at golfstat.
ABOUT KA'ANAPALI GOLF COURSES:
Built on 300 acres of land once home to Hawaiian royalty, Ka'anapali Golf Courses present golfers with pristine conditions and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and West Maui Mountains.
Opened in 1962 and designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the par-71, 6,700-yard Royal Ka’anapali Course features wide fairways and undulating greens which make it both distinctive and demanding. The tournament-tested layout hosted the Champions Tour Ka’anapali Classic for 14 years, Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf, the Canada Cup and LPGA Kemper Open, welcoming Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Fred Couples, Jan Stephenson, Betsy King and other legends.
Complementing the Royal Ka’anapali Course is the modernized Ka’anapali Kai Course, which hosted Golf Channel’s “Big Break Ka’anapali.” Extensively renovated in 2005, the 6,400-yard, par-70 layout boasts an array of strategically placed bunkers, contoured fairways and resurfaced greens.