CAVALIERS BEACH, California – Arkansas junior Wil Gibson was the first Razorback to start in the team’s season opener – the 10th annual Carmel Cup and final – and he started with a double bogey. However, he got the ship right and birdied six in his last eight holes to shoot a career-high 68.4 under par and lead the 19th-ranked Hogs on day one of the three-day event. at the historic Pebble Beach Golf Links. (par 72, 6,828 yards).
Arkansas are fifth in the eight-team squad, but just three strokes behind leaders Georgia. In the six-count-five tournament, Arkansas shot a 258 under par while Georgia No. 14 had a 355 under par 5. Mississippi State is second after 18 holes (356), followed by No. 9 Texas Tech (357) and # 2 State of Oklahoma (357). Lagging behind the Razorbacks are No.7 Oklahoma (359), No.6 Vanderbilt (361) and TCU (378).
Gibson was the clubhouse leader and finished the first day tied for second, two strokes behind Trent Phillips of Georgia, who is the 23rd amateur in the world. After the opening double, Gibson recovered a birdie shot on the par-4 third hole only to suffer a bogey on the par-5 6th to make the turn at +2 (38). The Jonesboro native opened the last nine with par. Then over the last eight holes he went birdie, par, birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie, par and birdie on the iconic par-5, 18th.
Gibson’s previous best lap was a 69 of 2 under par in the first round at Cabo Collegiate by 71 in his first season (2018-19).
“I really just got started and never got a head start on myself,” Gibson said. “I felt really comfortable on the last nine today compared to the front. I was in a good position mentally even after making early mistakes. Pebble Beach is such a special place with the best views, so it’s hard not to enjoy a ride here. ”
Newcomer Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira, a junior transfer from TCU, is tied for ninth after winning a round of 2 under par. He cleared a bogey with four birdies to show his 70.
University debut Julian Perico and Juan Camilo Vesga are tied for 20th, each having a 1-over 73. Segundo Oliva Pinto and Luke Long are tied for 30th, each posting a 2-over -by 74.
The second day of the three-day event is scheduled for Saturday with 18 holes of play.