RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico Freshman Phillip Bryan was the surprise of the day at the Puerto Rico Classic, finishing the first round in second place.
The University of Oklahoma men’s golf team (287, -1) concluded first-round action at the Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort’s River Course in eighth.
Georgia leads the field of 18, shooting 278 (-10) as a team on the 6,945-yard Greg Norman-designed course.
Bryan, in his fourth start at Oklahoma, shot a career-low 66 five strokes below his previous best as he led the Sooners on day one. The Mustang, Okla., native swept through the front nine with current leader James Vargas (Florida) in a tournament-low 32 strokes. Bryan ended one stroke behind Vargas.
Bryan’s surprise effort comes after averaging 76.55 stokes per round in his previous nine played at the college level. However, the three-time PGA Junior Series winner is no stranger to the top of a leaderboard.
Bryan had six birdies and no bogeys. Beginning with No. 16, the freshman made three consecutive pars before birdieing 1 and 2. He added two more on the front side at 6 and 7. He birdied the 11th and ended the day with a birdie at No. 15.
Florida concluded the first round in second place, one stroke behind Georgia, and Clemson took third at two strokes back. The top nine teams are separated by just 11 strokes on the fairly demanding, natural-terrain course.
Senior Craig Lurie finished tied for 30th. The Houston, Texas, native matched a season low round after completing 18 holes in 72 strokes.
Anthony Kim (La Quinta, Calif.) ended day one on the top half of the leaderboard tied for 44th at 2 over par, while Shawn LaFontaine (Cobourg, Ontario) and Justin Fraley (Rowlett, Texas), in his first start for OU, tied for 51st at 3 over.
Temperatures on Sunday were in the mid 80s with winds from the southeast gusting up to 20 miles per hour. Showers are expected Monday morning.
The second round begins Monday, Feb. 28, at 6 a.m. CST and the tournament concludes on Tuesday, March 1.