Pipitone Finishes First Round at NCAAs

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PHILADELPHIA - Penn freshman golfer Chance Pipitone shot a 5-over-par 75 Wednesday morning in the first round of the NCAA Championships. That puts him in a tie for 126th place with 11 other golfers out of 156total heading into Thursday's second round.

Pipitone had an uneven round on the par-70 Golden Horseshoe Golf Club course Wednesday, making even par on just seven of 18 holes. After starting with par on his first two holes, Pipitone double-bogeyed his third hole, but got those strokes back with birdies on his fourth and sixth holes.

The middle of the round proved his undoing: Pipitone bogeyed four-straight holes, then double-bogeyed his 11th hole to go to 6-over. He recovered with three-straight even-par holes, but bogeyed his 15th hole to drop to 7-over par.

At that point, Pipitone pulled it together, parring his 16th hole and then getting birdies on the final two holes to pull back to 5-over.

"He had a 75 that could very easily have been a 71," said head coach Rob Powelson, noting the media attention Pipitone is getting both in Philadelphia and in Williamsburg. "He was understandably a little nervous, but we will go to the range and work a few things out."

Rob Grube of Stanford is the clubhouse leader after shooting a 6-under-par 64 Wednesday. He is two strokes ahead of second-place Tim McKenney of Florida. Overall, 28 golfer broke par on the day, and another 22 were even.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Stanford -- led by Grube -- holds the team lead after Wednesday's first round; the Cardinal shot 5-under-par and are three strokes ahead of Florida, Coastal Carolina, Minnesota and Texas.

Pipitone -- just the second Penn player in history to qualify for NCAAs as an individual, after Don Norbury in 1959 and 1960 -- is slated to tee off from No. 1 at 2:05 p.m. Thursday.