Jeffrey Swegle was fearless in his NCAA Championships debut and led the Stanford men's golf team with a 2-over-par 74 Friday at The Concession Golf Club.
Swegle was 2-under through three and 1-under at the turn, adding a birdie with two bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine. His three birdies led the team.
"I didn't hit the ball that well, but did a great job of managing my ball around the course," Swegle said. "A couple breaks went my way to help out. Last night, I went through my yardage book and mapped out the easiest ways to get into the fairway and onto the green. That navigation plan worked, since my ball-striking wasn't at its best."
Stanford shot a 22-over 310 to finish 29th in the opening round. The only team to shoot under par in the opening round, Illinois, took its place atop the leaderboard.
The Illini avoided big numbers on the 7,483-yard, par-72 course, recording just one double-bogey and adding 12 of their 16 birdies on the back nine, shooting 282 and finishing two strokes ahead of second-place Georgia.
Swegle's classmate, Franklin Huang, was 7-over, including an eagle on the 545-yard, par-5 13th. Aiming at a gettable back pin, he flushed a perfect 56-degree wedge 10 feet past the hole and spun it back into the bucket.
Maverick McNealy could not find his momentum early in the round. He was 5-over through eight and finished at 6-over.
McNealy's only birdies came on the par-5 third and par-5 17th, the latter of which was earned after hitting on the ridge of a water hazard.
McNealy had the team's longest stretch without a bogey at six straight holes (9-14).
Viraat Badhwar's consecutive birdies on three and four put him at even. He would not manage another birdie after that point, completing with a 9-over 81.
David Boote saved his lone birdie for the par-5 17th during a round of 7-over.