Darren Edwards didn’t have much time to get used to a golf course he had never seen before. He credited his coaches for getting him dialed in to shoot a low number.
The Fort Lewis College junior opened the NCAA Division II South Central/West Men’s Golf Super Regional with a 2-under-par 70 on Thursday at The Home Course in Dupont, Washington.
His round put him in a six-way tie for fourth place, two shots behind early leader Garrett Woodin of Montana State-Billings.
“The conditions were good, and everything with my game was pretty good today,” Edwards said. “I have some things I can clean up for (Friday), but overall I’m pleased with my day and how it went.”
FLC head coach Jim Foltz praised the work of the junior from Loveland, who quickly went back to work on the driving range and practice green after his round.
“It goes without saying, but when you shoot 2-under on a course like this that you’ve never seen before, it’s unbelievable,” Foltz said. “He gave away a few strokes, but he’s gonna work on that and be ready for the rest of the week.”
Edwards made the turn at 1-under with eight pars and a birdie on the par-4 No. 3. He got to 2-under with a birdie on the par-5 10th, which played 560 yards.
He gave back two shots with bogeys on Nos. 12 and 15. The first was a tough 207-yard par-3, and the second a 415-yard par-4.
But Edwards bounced right back with consecutive birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 before a closing par to post a strong number.
“My coaches (Foltz and Devin Schreiner) did a great job during my practice round of getting my numbers right,” Edwards said. “That had me dialed in all day with my irons.
“I am looking to do a little better the next round by hitting a few more fairways and seeing a few more good putts fall.”
Tyler Fitchett of Saint Martin’s University shot a 69 to match Colorado Mesa University’s Pablo Diaz in a tie for second. The large group at 2-under includes Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference champion Andrew Ni of CSU-Pueblo.
Edwards is the lone FLC golfer at the regional and the first Skyhawk to qualify since 2012. The top individual not on a qualifying team at regionals will earn a spot at the NCAA Division II Championship at PGA National in Palm Beach, Florida, later this month.
“Conditions are going to be more difficult (Friday),” Edwards said. “There’s going to be some rain. I don’t have a number in mind, I’m just going to go out and play my best. If I hit every shot I want, I know I’ll be sitting in a good position for the weekend.”