KAUAI, Hawaii. (Oct. 30, 2016) – ETSU senior Mateusz Gradecki (Oborniki Slaskie, Poland) sits atop the leaderboard after first round play at the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational, as the Buccaneer leader posted his lowest collegiate round with a 7-under-par 65 on Sunday from the Makai Golf Club at Princeville.
Gradecki was flawless on Sunday as totaled seven birdies and 11 pars to grab the 18-hole lead in Hawaii. The Oborniki Slaskie, Poland native began and ended his round with birdies, while he enjoyed a run where he collected five birdies over an eight-hole stretch to start the day. Gradecki – who started his round on the par-5, 611-yard No. 2 – registered back-to-back birdies on No. 5 and 6, No. 8 and 9, and No. 18 and No. 1. The 65 bested his previous collegiate score by three strokes, while it also marks the lowest round by a Buccaneer since Gudmundur Kristjansson carded a 63 in the first round of the Seminole Intercollegiate back on March 13, 2015.
Following the round, Gradecki talked about his day and how he enjoys the course.
“I am really happy with my round today,” said Gradecki. “I started really well as I was 5-under thru eight holes and that strong start gave me a lot of confidence. Everything was working for me today and I didn’t hit many bad shots.
Playing in Hawaii is amazing. This is my favorite course and I really like the set up. Every hole is different. On some holes you can be very aggressive and other times you have to be conservative. I really like the strategy you have to put into it.”
Gradecki takes a one-shot lead into Monday’s second round play as Missouri’s Hayden Buckley and Utah Valley’s Blair Bursey are tied for second at 6-under 66. A group of four golfers are tied for fourth at 4-under 68.
As a team, ETSU is tied for sixth at even-par 288, while No. 25 Ole Miss holds the first round lead at 11-under-par 277. Georgia Southern is in second at 6-under 282 and No. 24 Missouri sits third at 5-under 283.
Freshman Ben Reichert (East Amherst, N.Y.) is tied for 29th at 1-over 73, while sophomore Geuntae Kim (Daegu, South Korea) and freshman Zack Ford (Cochranton, Pa.) are tied for 53rd at 3-over 75.
The Bucs are paired with Sam Houston State Pepperdine and Cal Poly on Monday, and tee off at 2 p.m.
For more information on Buccaneer men’s golf, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s golf page.