Goodyear, Ariz. - Senior Scott Willman led the Nebraska men's golf team at the Denver Desert Shootout on Thursday, firing an opening-round 67 at Palm Valley Golf Course.
The Huskers are in a three-way tie-for-seventh after shooting even-par 288 in the first 18 holes at the par-72, 7,015-yard layout. Denver and Nevada matched Nebraska's score and currently sit 14 shots off the pace, which is set by Brigham Young.
Willman matched his lowest round of the season with his 5-under-par score. His other 67 came at the season-opening Fairway Club Invitational on Sept. 12. Willman is in a three-way tie-for-fourth and sits three strokes off the pace, which is set by San Diego's Alex Ching.
Neil Dufford also turned in a subpar round, posting a 1-under-par 71 on Thursday. The junior is in an 11-way tie-for-16th. His 71 is the lowest round Dufford has recorded since October at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate.
Ross Dickson is tied for 48th after shooting 2-over-par 74 in the first round. The freshman, whose season stroke average is 77.11, has competed in eight of nine tournaments for the Huskers in 2011-12.
Manuel Lavin and Jordan Reinertson are tied for 69th after each carding 76s in the opening 18 holes. Lavin has competed in every tournament for NU this season and has the second-best stroke average at 74.29. Reinertson is playing in his fourth consecutive tournament this spring after only teeing it up in one of five events in the fall.
Playing as an individual, Ryan Grassel carded a 3-over-par 75. He is tied for 58th. Grassel is playing in his fourth straight tournament after transferring from Sonoma State University. Like the Denver Desert Shootout, Grassel played as an individual at the Jackrabbit Invitational, March 12-13.
The Huskers tee it up in Friday's second round starting at 8:30 a.m. (Central Time) on Hole No. 1. NU will be playing with Denver and Nevada. Check Huskers.com for results.
Denver Desert Shootout
March 22-24, 2012
Palm Valley Golf Course
Par 72 - 7,015 yards
Team Top 10
1. BYU - 274
2. San Diego - 278
3. Tulsa - 281
T-4. Air Force - 283
T-4. Wichita State - 283
6. Kansas - 285
T-7. Denver - 288
T-7. Nebraska - 288
T-7. Nevada - 288
10. Boise State - 289
Individual Top 10
1. Alex Ching, San Diego - 64
T-2. Mark Mumford, Tulsa - 66
T-2. Zachary Blair, BYU - 66
T-4. Justin Keiley, BYU - 67
T-4. Scott Willman, Nebraska - 67
T-4. Brian Knoll, Nevada - 67
T-7. Louis Cohen Boyer, Wichita State - 68
T-7. Dylan McClure, Kansas - 68
T-7. Rafael Becker, Wichita State - 68
T-7. Robert Belz, Air Force - 68
T-4. Scott Willman - 67
T-16. Neil Dufford - 71
T-48. Ross Dickson - 74
T-58. Ryan Grassel - 75*
T-69. Manuel Lavin - 76
T-69. Jordan Reinertson - 76
*-competing as an individual outside of Husker lineup