CSUSB's Webster holds 1-shot lead over tight pack at NCAA II Nationals

Matt Ewald

May 19, 2009

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BLAINE, Wash. - Gene Webster of Cal State University San Bernardino shot a 1-under par 71 to take a one-shot lead following first-round action Tuesday at the NCAA Division II National Men's Golf Championships being held at the Loomis Trail Golf Club.

Barry and Sonoma State are tied for the team lead at 9-over par 293. Northeastern State, Okla., is third in the 20-team field at 294, with Cal State San Bernardino fourth at 295.

Webster birdied two of the first six holes, and after a bogey at No.8 put him back to one-under, finished with 10 straight pars.

Five players finished at even-par 71, and six more were at 1-over. Included in the group at 1-over was Matt Ewald of Washburn, who had a hole-in-one at the par-4 13th hole.

Ewald debated hitting 3-wood after seeing the drive of Western's Jake Koppenberg go to the back of the green, but then settled for hitting his driver at the downhill, 326-yard hole.

"I took a bit off it, and it faded toward the hole," said Ewald, a senior from Leawood, Kans. "I saw it bounce and it looked like it was going toward the hole, but I lost track of it. Then I saw the spotters next to the green holding their hands up, and all hell broke loose!"

It was Ewald's first hole-in-one, and also the first hole-in-one on the 13th hole since Loomis Trail opened in 1992.

Eighteen of the 108 players are within three shots of the lead, 27 within four shots. In the group at even-par are Patrick Bauer of Sonoma State, Victor Billskoog of Barry, Jonathan Burke of Barton, Steve Cuzzort of Wayne State, Mich., and Steve Powell of Northeastern State.

The second round of the 72-hole tournament begins Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. Pacific time.