McNamara's 68 helped the Bucs to a score of 2-under 282, leaving the team nine strokes back of current team leader Wake Forest, which posted a first-day score of 11-under 277 and holds a three-stroke advantage over second-place UCLA. On the individual leaderboard, the Demon Deacons' Kyle Reifers is at 7-under and leads by one over
"It's been a disappointing year for me, really, so I just came out this week realizing I was going to stay relaxed because there are only four more rounds left this season," said McNamara, whose score matched his career low. "For some reason I was more laid back, and it definitely helped me today. There's still a lot of work to be done here, but today was positive because we had to wait around forever and we still did OK."
Along with McNamara - whose bogie-free day included birdies on No. 3, No. 9, No. 10, and No. 16 - ETSU got even-par scores from sophomore Gareth Shaw (
"I think Rhys and Gareth were a bit upset with their day, but overall we played OK and we're in good position," said ETSU head coach Fred Warren. "Cian played great and it was one of his best rounds. Rhys hit the ball real well, but it was just one of those tough days for him. We had the toughest tee time of the first round - going off last in the afternoon - so I thought if we were under par we'd be OK. Considering the circumstances it was a good day."
Second round play at the NCAA Championships will continue Thursday, with third round action set for Friday. The Top 15 teams following Friday's play will make the cut and reach the final round set for Saturday. Fans can watch live scoring at Golfstat.com, or visit ETSUBucs.com following each day's play for a complete wrap up.