WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (April 13, 2015) – The ETSU men’s golf team sits atop the leaderboard, while junior Gudmundur Kristjansson (Reykjavik, Iceland) is tied for first place following the first two rounds of The Greenbrier Collegiate Invitational, which concluded Monday evening The Old White TPC Course.
The 39th-ranked Buccaneers hold a one shot lead over Eastern Kentucky entering Tuesday’s final round as ETSU finished the day at 6-over-par 566. ETSU opened the round with an even-par 280 and totaled a 6-over 286 in the second round to maintain its one stroke lead. Marshall and Old Dominion are tied for third at 11-over-par 571.
The Blue and Gold hold their lead courtesy of the strong play by Kristjansson, Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) and Mateusz Gradecki (Oborniki Śląskie, Poland) as they all sit in the top-20.
“Overall, we played fairly well today,” said head coach Fred Warren, as his Buccaneers are looking to claim their second team title of the season. “This is a very challenging course and the winds picked up in the afternoon, making play even more difficult. We struggled on the greens today – partly if you put the ball in the wrong spot it forces tough putts – but it was a good test for our guys. It forced us to manage our game and put the ball in the right places on the course, which is something we need to get better at. Individually, Gudmundur and Adrian played well, while Mateusz had a solid opening round.”
Kristjansson, who carded eight birdies on the day, is tied for the individual lead at 3-under-par 137. The Reykjavik, Iceland native started the morning with a 2-under 68 and finished the day with a 1-under 69. Kristjansson is tied with Elon’s Jonathan Dilanni and EKU’s Jared Brown, while James Madison’s Poom Pattaropong is one shot back at 2-under.
“It feels good to be atop the leaderboard, but hopefully we can go out tomorrow, play strong and get a team win,” said Kristjansson, who won his first collegiate tournament a few weeks ago at the Seminole Intercollegiate. “I hit the ball decent today, but the conditions got tough midway through the second round. We were forced to hit into the wind most of the round, but the last four holes were down wind and I took advantage of that by making two birdies. The conditions in the opening round were nice, but I struggled with my putting and could’ve put up a better score.”
Meanwhile, Meronk – the 18th-ranked golfer by Golfstat – is only two shots back in fifth place at 1-under-par 139 and Gradecki is tied for 17th at 4-over-par 144.
Meronk had four of his six birdies in the opening round en route to posting a 1-under 69, but despite sitting 2-under through his first seven holes in round two, the Buccaneer junior couldn’t sustain the early momentum. Meronk double bogeyed the par-3, No. 8 and moved to 1-over for the round after recording a bogey on the par-5, 12th; however, he birdied the par-5, 17th to get back to even for the round. Meronk also registered his seventh eagle of the season in the second round after carding a two on the par-4, No 4.
Gradecki shot an even-par 70 in the first 18 holes of competition and was even through the first 12 holes of the second round, but he played the final six holes at 4-over to finish with a 74.
Seniors Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) and Tom Heggarty (Cheshire, England) are both tied for 37th at 8-over-par 148.
Tuesday’s final round begins with a shotgun start at 9 a.m., while ETSU will be grouped with Eastern Kentucky and Marshall.
Live scoring of the tournament can be accessed via BirdieFire.
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