KAUAI, Hawaii. (Nov. 4, 2013) – The ETSU men’s golf team got off to a strong start in the first round of the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational on Monday from the Makai Golf Club at Princeville.
The Bucs, who saw all five golfers shoot par or better, finished the opening round in fifth after registering a team score of 8-under 280.
Sophomore Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) paced the Blue and Gold by shooting a 3-under 69 and is tied for 14th. After playing the first three holes at 2-over, Meronk bounced back nicely by finishing the remainder of his round at 5-under. Meronk, who started the round at No. 10, ignited his run by posting four consecutive birdies to end the first nine holes of competition.
Like Meronk, junior Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) ended the day strong to finish tied for 21st at 2-under 70. Pugh was 2-over thru his first four holes, but quickly moved to 2-under by carding four birdies in a five hole stretch, beginning at the par-3, 16th. Joining Pugh in 21st is freshman Mateusz Gradecki (Oborniki Śląskie, Poland). Gradecki parred 15 holes in the round, but the Buccaneer rookie moved to 1-under after firing an eagle on the par-5, 18th, and moved to 2-under with a birdie on the par-3, 7th.
Sophomore Chris Hickman (Centreville, Md.) shot a 1-under 71 in the opener and is tied for 30th, while fellow sophomore Gudmundur Kristjansson (Reykjavik, Iceland), who was 3-under thru his first nine holes, played the final nine at 3-over to finish with a 72.
ETSU, who is currently ranked No. 41 in the latest Golfweek rankings, is eight shots off the lead as Cal State Fullerton sits atop the leaderboard at 16-under 272. The Titans have a two-shot lead over Mississippi State and are three strokes ahead of third-place Louisville. Meanwhile, the Bucs are two shots ahead defending champion and 17th-ranked Baylor and four strokes in front of No. 30 Arizona State.
Individually, Mississippi State’s Chad Ramey jumped out to the lead after firing a 9-under 63, and the Bulldog senior has a two-stroke cushion over Cal State Fullerton’s Mark Anguiano. Like Gradecki, Ramey also eagled No. 18, while his only hiccup came on No. 17 where he walked away with a bogey.
The Bucs tee off Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. (Eastern), and ETSU will again be paired with San Diego and Cal Poly. Live scoring of the tournament can be accessed via GolfStat.com.
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