Oliva Pinto leads, Arkansas 3rd after 1st Round of SEC Golf Championship

Oliva Pinto leads, Arkansas 3rd after 1st Round of SEC Golf Championship

Segundo Oliva Pinto fired a bogey-free, 6-under-par 64 and leads after round one of the 2021 SEC Men’s Golf Championships, played at Sea Island Golf Club – Seaside Course (par 70, 7,005 yards). His play combined with William Buhl’s 69 has #22 Arkansas in third place with a 2-under-par 278, three strokes off the lead.

Georgia, ranked 10th, and #19 Tennessee are 1-2 in the standings after day one. The Bulldogs posted a 5-under 275 and the Volunteers are at -3 (277). LSU and Vanderbilt sit behind the Hogs in a tie for fourth, each shooting a 1-over 281.

Arkansas was the only team to have all five golfers birdie the 565-yard, par-5 15th hole. The Razorbacks’ round one total of 278 ties a program record for the best opening-round total at the SEC Championship (also shooting 278 in round one in 2010) and ties for the program’s fourth-best total at the event behind a 268 in (Rd3 in 2017), a pair or 274′s (Rd 2 in 2019 and Rd 3 in 2018) and a pair of 275′s (Rd 2 in 2015 and Rd 3 in 2014).

Oliva Pinto, who won the last conference tournament he played at the 2019 Colonial Athletic Association title, leads a pair of golfers by one stroke and one by two strokes as he had one of the best rounds in school and SEC Championship history.

His 64 tied for the lowest first-round score in SEC history (matching a 64 shot in Rd1 in 2017) and tied for the third-best score overall behind a 61 in 2014 and a 63 in 2010.

He tied the Arkansas record for the lowest round at an SEC Championship as Sebastian Cappelen posted a 6-under (64) in round three at the Seaside Course in 2014 and Bud Still carded an 8-under (64) round three in 1995 the par 72 Springhouse Golf Club in Nashville.

He is the third Razorback to shoot 64 this season, joining two-time performer Julian Perico, and the total ties for third on the school’s list overall, trailing a pair of 63′s.

The 64 additionally is the second-lowest round by Oliva Pinto for his career and best since shooting a final-round 61 in his 2019-20 season-opening win at the Golfweek Program Challenge (Sept. 1-3, 2019) while at UNC Wilmington.

He was the only player in the field to play a bogey-free round.

“I played simple golf today,” Oliva Pinto said. I picked good targets and executed properly. “(Associate head coach) Barrett Lais helped me stay in right mindset today.”

Oliva Pinto opened with a par then birdied four of his next six holes, including three straight on holes 5, 6 and 7, to make the turn at -4. The junior started the back nine with five straight pars before birdies on holes 15 and 16. He finished with back-to-back pars for his 6-under round of 64.

Buhl, who missed the fall after back surgery, is tied for 10th thanks to his 1-under round of 69. It marks his third career round of 69 or better at the Championship and ties his best round of the season. He opened with a bogey and was +2 through six holes after a birdie on hole 2 and bogeys on holes 4 and 6. However, the fifth-year senior bounced back with a birdie on the par-5, 7th hole and, after seven straight pars, Buhl joined Oliva Pinto with birdies on holes 15 and 16 before finishing with back-to-back pars for his round of 69.

Rounding out the Razorback quintet were Tyson Reeder (T33/72), Manuel Lozada (T41/73) and Julian Perico (T48/74).

Round two of three of the SEC stroke play portion is set for Thursday. The top eight teams after 54 holes of stroke play will advance to match play Saturday.

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