SCOTTSDALE, Az. (Purdue Sports) — Senior Cole Bradley continued his outstanding play from a week ago, shooting a bogey-free, 4-under par 66 to take the 18-hole lead at the NCAA National Championships, held at the Grayhawk Golf Club's Raptor Course.
Bradley, who earned a spot at nationals after winning his first career tournament at the NCAA Noblesville Regional, leads Sam Houston State's William Holcomb and Ting-Wei Hseih and Oklahoma State's Bo Jin by one shot heading into Saturday's second round. Twelve players are at 2-under par and 11 more players are three back at 1-under par.
Texas Tech (-4) leads Sam Houston by two shots and Pepperdine by three shots in the team race. No. 1-ranked Oklahoma and No. 3 Oklahoma State are tied for fourth at even-par.
"I got a good look at the course and knew the spots you could be and couldn't be and just kind of kept it in front of me today and played solid all day," Bradley told Golfweek magazine after his round. "I'm just taking it one shot at a time and just having fun with dad (head coach Rob Bradley).
"We just went out there and played solid and had fun," Bradley said. "My dad's a great green reader and gave me some good reads today. I trusted a lot of them and just made good strokes, made a few putts and hope to keep doing the same thing tomorrow."
Starting in the morning wave off hole No. 1, Bradley quickly showed that nerves wouldn't be an issue, posting early birdies on holes 2 and 4. He would then par six straight holes, then managed back-9 birdies on Nos. 11 and 16, for a 4-under par 66. Bradley would be within one shot of or in the lead for the entire day once he recorded his first birdie.
Bradley will tee off at 4:42 p.m. ET / 1:42 p.m. PT on hole No. 10, for Saturday's second round.
All 156 players will play 36 additional holes over the next two days. Following Sunday's third round, the field will be cut down to the top-15 advancing teams and nine individuals not on advancing teams to determine the individual national champion on Memorial Day.