JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (Oct. 12, 2012) – The ETSU men’s golf team is currently sixth after the first round of the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at Blackthorn Club, as the Bucs shot an even-par 288 on Friday. Individually, freshman Chris Hickman (Centreville, Md.) is tied for 12th after firing a 1-under-par 71.
Hickman began the day by playing even on the front nine – and after sitting 2-over thru 13 – the Centreville, Md. native finished the final five holes with three birdies to put him in a 10-way tie for 12th. After posting bogeys on No. 11 and 13, Hickman began the charge with a birdie on the 517-yard, par-5 14th and closed the round with birdies on No. 17 and 18. Likewise, freshman Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) also wrapped up the day on a positive note as he shot an even-par 72. Meronk closed out the front nine with a double bogey on the 474-yard, par-4 9th, but quickly redeemed himself with consecutive birdies on No. 13 and 14, pulling him within five shots of the lead and into a tie for 22nd.
“We did some good things,” ETSU coach Fred Warren said, who sent out his youngest lineup ever in the 15-year tournament on Friday. “We lost a couple coming in, but we also picked some up. Chris showed a lot the way he came back. This is the third college tournament for three of our guys. Our freshmen shot one under, even and one over. That’s pretty good on this course. You have to give the young guys time. We have a lot of talent. Maybe they’ll get hot the next couple of days, but even if they don’t, they’re doing the right things.”
Tennessee and Memphis are tied for both the team and individual lead after first round play. The Vols – who are ranked 31st – and Tigers registered an 8-under 280, while Tennessee’s Rick Lamb and Memphis’ Grant Milner shot a 5-under 67. The leaders hold a one-shot lead over Milner’s teammate Will Pearson. On the team leaderboard, Tennessee and Memphis lead by four shots over Virginia and by five over No. 21 Wake Forest and No. 12 Missouri.
Sophomore Scott Gibson (Southerness, Scotland) shot a season-best even-par 72 after posting two birdies and a pair of bogeys in the opening round. Gibson was 2-under thru 11 after birdying the 331-yard, par-4 2nd and the 406-yard, par-4 11th; however, consecutive bogeys on No. 15 and 16 pushed the Buccaneer sophomore back to even for the day – placing him in a tie for 22nd. Meanwhile, after playing even all afternoon, fellow sophomore Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) bogeyed the 436-yard, par-4 18th to finish 1-over 73 and in a tie for 39th. In addition, freshman Gudmundur Kristjansson (Reykjavik, Iceland) is also tied with Pugh for 39th. Kristjansson opened the round strong by shooting a 3-under thru the first 13 holes, but shot a 4-over on the last five to finish at 1-over. The Buccaneer rookie ended the day with a birdie on the final hole of the day to give him some momentum heading into Saturday’s second round.
Sophomore Tom Heggarty (Cheshire, England) – who was playing as an individual – enjoyed a successful season debut as he carded a 72.
UNC-Wilmington’s Stefan Brewer had the shot of the day as he aced the 228-yard, par-3 16th.
Saturday’s second round begins at 8:30 a.m., while the Bucs won’t go off until 11 a.m. as Pugh will be the first ETSU golfer on the course for the Blue and Gold. Fans can follow all the action on Golfstat.com.
For more information on the ETSU men's golf team please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s golf link.