JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (Oct. 10, 2014) – First round play at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at Blackthorn Club was suspended due to heavy rain that hit the Tri-Cities region on Friday morning/afternoon. Play will resume Saturday at 8:45 a.m.
After playing through scattered showers in the morning, heavier rain picked up after lunch forcing the opening round to be suspended around 2 p.m. Following a one-hour delay, the tournament committee sent the team's home as the rain never let up and conditions worsened.
Prior to the stoppage of play, the 31st-ranked ETSU men’s golf team was on the back nine and playing a solid round. The Buccaneers finished the day in second-place at 6-under-par and sit one-shot back of No. 12 Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons also hold the top spot on the individual leaderboard as Will Zalatoris is at 4-under-par through 13 holes.
“The guys got off to a good start and hopefully the weather will cooperate the rest of the weekend,” said head coach Fred Warren. “We have a good team and the guys are playing well. We are playing with the defending champions (Virginia) and Wake Forest is playing well, so we’re in a good pairing. We’ll just go out tomorrow and see if we can keep playing well.”
ETSU was led by Chris Hickman (Centreville, Md.) on Friday as the Buccaneer junior enters Saturday tied for second at 3-under. Hickman, who began the day with an eagle on the opening hole, wrapped up play on No. 13 when play was suspended. Hickman’s eagle marked the second in a four-hole span for the Buccaneer as he registered his first collegiate eagle in Tuesday’s final round at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate.
“I wasn’t really expecting anything today, but I just went out there and was picking targets,” said Hickman, who used a wedge to drain his eagle from 139 yards out. “I was feeling great on the first hole and was in a good mood. I took aim at the flagstick and hit it in the hole. I wanted to land it left and spin the ball in the hole – that’s what I did. It’s the same thing I was trying to do earlier this week in Raleigh and it worked out for me. As far as the rest of the round, I wasn’t thinking too much about my play and was enjoying being out there. Playing in the rain is always a different challenge – and I like whatever golf throws at me – but it’s disappointing we couldn’t finish today. I would like to be out there, but it makes things difficult when you hit it in the fairway and mark the ball to find a dry spot on almost every hole. We will get some rest and try to get the job done the rest of the weekend.”
Hickman wasn’t the only ETSU golfer to card an eagle on Friday as senior Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) holed a 163-yard shot on No. 11, moving him into a tie for fourth at 2-under for the round. Pugh posted three birdies on the front nine, but also had a bogey and a double-bogey on his scorecard.
Meanwhile, junior Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) – who had two birdies and a bogey on the front nine – is tied for 11th (1-under) through 11, and sophomore Mateusz Gradecki (Oborniki Śląskie, Poland) is tied for 20th (even-par) through 13.
Freshman Cayman Ratliff (Kingsport, Tenn.), one of two ETSU’s individual golfers on the course, birdied two of his first five holes and is tied for fourth at 2-under through five.
Coastal Carolina, Furman and Army were the first groups out on Friday and they finished before play was suspended. Coastal Carolina led the group by putting up a 2-under-par 286. Andrew Dorn, from Coastal Carolina, fired a 3-under 69, while Linus Lilliedahl of Missouri finished at 2-under 70.
Live scoring for the tournament can be found on Golfstat, while recaps following each day will be available on ETSUBucs.com. Twitter updates can be accessed by following @ETSUAthletics and Instagram posts can be found by also following @ETSUAthletics.
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For more information on Buccaneer men’s golf, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s golf page.