ALPHARETTA, Ga. (Oct. 19, 2012) – On a day when only a handful of golfers finished in the red, ETSU freshman Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) shot a 2-over-par 74 Friday afternoon and is tied for tied for 22nd after the first round of the U.S. Collegiate Championship from The Golf Club of Georgia – Lakeside Course.
Meronk – who is tied with 11 other golfers at 2-over – was even-par until ending the round with bogeys on the final two holes. The Buccaneer rookie registered birdies on the 357-yard, par-4 No. 4 and the 419-yard, par-4 16th, but after pulling even on his scorecard, Meronk bogeyed 17 and 18 en route to posting the 74.
Meanwhile, Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) followed right behind Meronk as the sophomore totaled a 3-over 75 on the 7,017-yard, par-72 course. Freshman Chris Hickman (Centreville, Md.) started the day off strong as he was even on the front nine, but played the first two holes on the back at 4-over to finish the opening round at 5-over-par 77. Hickman and fellow teammate Scott Gibson (Southerness, Scotland) are both tied for 52nd.
Individually, Oklahoma State’s Talor Gooch generated the lowest score on Friday after firing a 4-under 68 and holds a one shot lead over Iowa’s Steven Ihm and Auburn's Michael Johnson.
On the team leaderboard, none of the 15 schools ended in the red as fourth-ranked Southern California finished at 1-over-par 289 and is two shots ahead of No. 24/22 Wake Forest and No. 16/12 Georgia Tech.
ETSU enters Saturday’s second round tied for 11th with 17th-ranked Texas A&M after both teams shot a 303 (+15). The Bucs and Aggies are ahead of Iowa (304), No. 12/11 Duke (305), and No. 23/24 Stanford (306). Furthermore, the Blue and Gold trail No. 22/23 Clemson by only two shots for 10th and are six strokes behind No. 3 Washington, No. 9/7 UCLA, No. 18/16 Kent State, and No. 25/33 Auburn – who are all tied for sixth.
The Bucs tee off at 12:20 p.m. on Saturday and will be paired with Stanford and Iowa.
The tournament, which is also referred to “The Masters of Collegiate Golf,” features 11 teams ranked within the top-30 of the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, as well as the top-30 of the Golfstat.com rankings. Individually, 29 players in the field are ranked within the top-100 of the Golfweek rankings, including five inside the top-10
Fans can follow all the scoring live on Golfstat.com or TheUSCC.org, while full recaps with scores will be available at ETSUBucs.com following each round.
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For more information on Buccaneer men’s golf, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s golf page.