Friday, March 25, 2011

Something to Build On

ACU sophomore Alex Carpenter is missing class this week but getting a great education in his chosen field. Carpenter is the first ACU golfer to play in a PGA Tour event while in school, teeing it up in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Fla.

With winds gusting upwards of 20 mph, Carpenter's first round Thursday started with a bang off the flagstick at the par-4 10th hole. He went on to make par there and at both 11 and 12. He sandwiched a par at 14 between a pair of bogeys but came back to birdie the par-5 16th to get back to +1, which is where he was after his first career nine holes on the PGA Tour.

A double bogey at 1 (his 10th of the day) dropped Carpenter to +3 but a birdie at the par-5 4th had him at +2 for the tournament and tied for 48th place. But he bogeyed No. 5 (his 14th hole of the day) and made a 9 on the 6th - the same par 5 where former PGA and British Open champion John Daly made an 18 in 1998 - hitting two balls in the water that winds along the entire left side of the fairway and green.

Carpenter followed that up with a double bogey 5 at the 7th and a closing bogey at 9 for a 10-over-par 82. That put him in next-to-last place among the 119 golfers who completed the first round. But 12 other golfers also failed to break 80, including last year's U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, on a course that's among the most challenging even in calm conditions.

Follow Carpenter's progress in round 2 on here and on my Twitter page here.


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