The UCLA men’s golf team ended Monday’s first round of the Jack Nicklaus Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, in third place.
The Bruins shot 289 (1) in their season opener, leaving them three strokes behind first place Ohio State and one stroke behind second place Illinois. Ohio State is hosting the tournament at the Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Making the trip for the Bruins are senior Alex Shi Yup Kim, junior Pontus Widegren, sophomore Anton Arboleda and freshmen Matt Pinizzotto and Jay Hwang.
Sophomore Patrick Cantlay, currently the top-ranked amateur in the world according to Golfweek.com, did not make the trip for UCLA as he was competing as an amateur at the Frys.com Open in San Martin this past weekend. Cantlay tied for 67th in the PGA Tour event.
Arboleda was the lowest finisher of the round for the Bruins, and he was at third place on the leaderboard after posting a 70 (-2). Arboleda was the most consistent player of the round for the Bruins, posting only two bogeys in the first round.
Widegren is next on the leaderboard for the Bruins, sitting in a tie for fourth place after shooting 71 (-1) on Monday’s first round.
Widegren started the day red hot, recording birdies on six of the first nine holes ““ including four straight-on holes five through eight ““ but cooled off and went five over on the back nine.
Both Pinizzotto and Hwang played well in their collegiate debuts, finishing three over par and four over par, respectively.
Rounding out the roster for the Bruins is Kim, who shot 73 (1) and sits in a tie for 14th.
The Bruins still have a chance to move up the leaderboard in today’s round, but they will first have to get past perennial golf powerhouses Oklahoma State and Texas, in addition to Ohio State and Illinois.
Junior Pedro Figueiredo picked up his first individual collegiate victory while competing as an individual at the Firestone Grill Cal Poly Invitational on Oct. 4.
Figueiredo shot 211 (-2) in the tournament’s three rounds and had 12 birdies over the course of the tournament.
Immediately below Figueiredo on the leaderboard was freshman Preston Valder, who came in second with a score of 212 (-1).
Also competing was junior Bobby Lange who tied for 44th with a score of 231 (18).
Although the Bruins are currently spread out over many different tournaments, the UCLA men’s golf team should be among the nation’s best once they are able to play together.
The Bruins entered this season as the top-ranked team in the country.
Compiled by Manny Redruello, Bruin Sports reporter.