GREENSBORO, N.C. – Vaita Guillaume of Campbell University shot a two-under-par 70 and is tied for fourth place following Thursday's opening round of the NCAA East Regional men's golf championship at the Grandover Resort East Course.
A senior from Papeete, Tahiti, Guillaume made five birdies on the day, including a four on the par-five 18th hole to pull within three strokes of individual leader Matt Schovee of SMU. The 54-hole event continues through Saturday's final round at the par-72, 7271-yard Grandover East layout.
Playing in his third career NCAA regional tournament, Guillaume made three bogeys, including one on the par-five second hold. However, he had birdies on the par-4 fourth and ninth holes to make the turn at one-under 35. The Big South Conference player of the year made bogey on the par-4 11th, but then birdied the par-three 12th and par-four 14th before scoring four on the par-three 16th.
Guillaume has shot 70 or better in 16 of his 30 rounds this year, including a collegiate career-low 64 when he won last month's Wofford Coca Cola Invitational, his fourth individual title of the season.
Twelve players in the 75-man field, that includes 14 teams and five individuals, finished Thursday's round below par. Schovee holds a two-stroke lead over his SMU teammate Harry Higgs and John Young Kim of Tulsa. Guillaume stands in a 5-way tie at two-under with M.J. Daffue of Lamar and Liberty teammates Robert Karlsson and Chase Marinell.
The top five teams and low individual not on those teams at each of six regionals will advance to the NCAA Championship, May 29-June 3 at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Liberty sits atop the team leader board at five-under 283, five strokes better than SMU (288). Tulsa (293) and UNLV (293) are tied for third, followed by Texas Tech (294), Louisiana-Lafayette (295) and Lamar (295).