BRADENTON, Fla. (May 29, 2015) – Gudmundur Kristjansson (Reykjavik, Iceland) enjoyed the first few holes of his opening round at the NCAA Championship on Friday at Concession Golf Club.
Kristjansson, who birdied the first two holes of his round, followed that up with a hole-in-one on the par-3, 183-yard No. 6; however, things quickly turned for the ETSU junior after the ace. The Buccaneer was 3-under when standing at the No. 7 tee box, but Kristjansson played the final 12 holes at 9-over to finish 6-over-par 78, placing him tied for 108th after 18 holes of competition.
“I hit a 6-iron and the hole was blocked by a bunker so I couldn’t tell the ball went in,” Kristjansson said, who made his first-ever ace on Friday. “There were some screams by the hole, but I didn’t know the ball went in until I got down there (by the green). I’ve been close (to a hole-in-one) many times and it was another good shot. I didn’t get too excited. I stayed calm and laid back, because that’s how I want to play golf – not to get too excited or too upset.”
“Gudmundur got off to a really good start and played well early on,” said head coach Fred Warren. “He began the round with two strong birdie putts and recorded his first-ever hole-in-one on No. 6. He had a great shot at the stick, but we couldn’t see the ball land since there was a bunker near the hole. Once we heard the roar we knew something was up. There was a one-foot area where he could land the ball by the pin. He did just that and the ball went in.
“Unfortunately, he then ran into some trouble on the back nine as he drove the ball out of play and had some unplayable lies, which is very uncharacteristic of him. Hopefully he can turn things around in the next two rounds.”
South Florida’s Claudio Correa and Illinois’ Thomas Detry hold a share of the lead at 4-under-par 68, while two golfers are one shot back and eight players are two strokes off the lead.
Kristjansson is the first Buccaneer to record an ace since teammate Rhys Pugh accomplished the feat on Oct. 7, 2013, at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate.
The Reykjavik, Iceland native, who carded a 63 back in March en route to winning the Seminole Intercollegiate, will look to bounce back over the weekend and climb up the leaderboard. The top 15 teams and nine individuals not on an advancing team move into Monday’s final round where the 72-hole individual champion will be crowned.
“This is a very tough course, so you can’t get ahead of yourself,” added Kristjansson, who has two tournament wins under his belt this season. “I need to stay focused on the next shot. This course will punish you in a hurry if you’re not focused and patient.”
After getting off to an early start on Friday, Kristjansson’s second round won’t get underway until 2:20 p.m., on Saturday. Kristjansson will start from No. 10 in round two.
Live scoring from the NCAA Championship will be available on Golfstat.com, and ETSUBucs.com will provide complete coverage following each round.
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