RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico (Feb. 22, 2015) – Mateusz Gradecki (Oborniki Śląskie, Poland) led the 33rd-ranked ETSU men’s golf team in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Classic as the Buccaneer sophomore fired a 1-over-par 73 on Sunday at the Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa’s River Course.
Gradecki, who carded three birdies and four bogeys on the day, is tied for 22nd. Three of Gradecki’s bogeys came in the opening four holes, but the Buccaneer bounced back with consecutive birdies on No. 15 and 16 to get back to even-par. However, after playing consistent golf for the next nine holes, Gradecki recorded a six on the par-5, No. 8, moving him to 1-over for the round.
As a team, ETSU was sitting in the top-5 for the majority of the round, but the Bucs dropped late and finished the day in 12th at 11-over-par 299.
Georgia, the 40th-ranked team in the country, holds a five shot lead atop the leaderboard after firing an 8-under-par 280, while No. 9 Alabama is in second at 3-under-par 285.
Virginia Tech’s Scott Vincent holds the individual lead following first round play as he shot a 5-under 67, and is two strokes ahead of five golfers who are tied for second.
Junior Chris Hickman (Centreville, Md.) was up and down on the day as he was 3-over after the first two holes, but registered three straight birdies on No. 13-15, while picking up a fourth birdie on the par-4, 18th moving him to 1-under. Unfortunately, Hickman finished the round just like he started as he double bogeyed his second-to-last hole and bogeyed the final hole, placing him in a tie for 30th at 2-over 74.
Juniors Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) and Gudmundur Kristjansson (Reykjavik, Iceland) rounded out the scoring for the Bucs on day one. Meronk is tied for 39th and Kristjansson is tied for 53rd.
Second round play gets underway at 8 a.m. (ET) on Monday. ETSU is paired with Purdue and UNCG. Live scoring of the tournament can be accessed via BirdieFire.
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