ALVATON, Ky. (May 14, 2009) - ETSU freshman Michael Stewart (Troon, Scotland), the 2009 Atlantic Sun Conference individual champion, fired an opening round 1-over-par 73 to lead the Buccaneers to an eighth place team standing during first round action in the NCAA Central Regional hosted by Western Kentucky University at The Club at Olde Stone.
Stewart finished six strokes off the pace set by first round leader Nick Taylor of Washington, who holds a two-stroke edge over Georgia Tech's Cameron Tringale. Taylor's efforts also buoyed the Huskies team effort, as No. 6-ranked Washington finished the day atop the leaderboard at 6-under as a squad, 10 strokes better than seventh-ranked Georgia Tech and 19th-ranked UCLA, who are both tied for second place at 4-over.
As for the Bucs' team effort, ETSU is in eighth place at 11-over as a team. Needing to finish the three-day event in the Top 5 to garner an invitation to the NCAA Championships, the Bucs are three strokes out of that position, trailing both Louisville and Mississippi, who are tied for fifth place at 8-over-par.
Other ETSU results of note included a tie for 17th by sophomore Paul O'Kane (Castledawson, Northern Ireland), who posted a 2-over 74. Meanwhile, sophomore Rhys Enoch (Cornwall, England) and senior Jordan Findlay (Fraserburgh, Scotland) finished tied for 38th after carding scores of 4-over 76.
The Bucs will continue with second and third round play which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Bowling Green. Fans can keep up with the team's progress by watching live scoring courtesy of Golfstat.com, and ETSUBucs.com will provide a complete recap of the action following the day's play.