AWENDAW, S.C. (March 26, 2023) – The ETSU men’s golf team got off to a historic start in Sunday’s opening round of the Hootie at Bulls Bay.
Looking to defend their crown in Awendaw, S.C., the Buccaneers posted a team score of 19-under-par 269 to jump out to a first-round lead at the Bulls Bay Golf Club. The Blue & Gold made history by tying the lowest round in program history with the 269, as well as tying the lowest round related to par at 19-under. This marks marking the second time this season where ETSU posted a 269, while the 19-under is just the second time in program history where a Buccaneer team hit that mark. This is the fourth time the Bucs finished with a team score of 269.
The Bucs shot a 269 in the first round of the Ka’anapali Classic back on Oct. 28, while the other clubs to post the score include the 2019-20 squad (second round of the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate) and the 2000-01 team (third round of the Southern Conference Championship). The second-round score at the 2019 Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate was the first time a Buccaneer team posted a 19-under-par.
ETSU holds a five-shot lead following first round play as No. 40 Purdue sits in second-place at 14-under-par 274. Wisconsin is in third-place at 11-under-par 277, while NC State and Kentucky are tied for fourth at 8-under-par 280.
The Blue & Gold shredded the course as they tallied one eagle, 27 birdies and 53 pars on Sunday. ETSU, who led the 15-team field in birdies, also topped all teams in par-3, par-4 and par-5 scoring. The Bucs played the par-5s at 10-under, the par-4s at seven-under and the par-3s at three-under.
Individually, Algot Kleen (Fiskebackskil, Sweden) holds a share of the lead, while a pair of Buccaneers are one shot back in a tie for sixth.
Kleen fired a 6-under-par 66 to sit tied atop the leaderboard with four other golfers – Wisconsin’s Cameron Huss, Missouri’s Charlie Crockett and Kentucky’s Alex Goff and Kevin Watts. Looking to win for the second time in four tournaments, Kleen played his final seven holes at six-under. Kleen began his impressive stretch run with a birdie on the 190-yard, par-3 No. 3 and followed that up with an eagle on the 540-yard, par-4 No. 5. From there, Kleen rattled off three straight birdies to move to the top of the leaderboard.
Kleen has some familiar faces chasing him down as Mats Ege (Kristiansand, Norway) and Archie Davies (Carlisle, England) are tied for sixth at 5-under-par 67.
Ege, looking to win back-to-back tournaments, got off to a blazing start as he birdied four of his first seven holes and eventually got to six-under for the round following back-to-back birdies on No. 4 and No. 5. However, Ege posted consecutive bogeys on No. 7 and No. 8, but the Buccaneer leader finished the round with a birdie on the par-4, 380-yard No. 9 to finish with the 67.
Davies, last year’s medalist, had a similar round to Kleen. The Carlisle, England native birdied his first hole and then registered nine straight pars before heating up at the end. Davies carded four birdies over his next five holes en route to capping off a flawless round.
Remi Chartier (Montreal, Canada) provided the final scoring round for the Blue & Gold on Sunday. Chartier is tied for 17th following a 3-under 69, thanks to finishing the day with three straight birdies to climb into the top 20.
Ege’s seven birdies in round one were tied for the lead, while Chartier tallied six birdies. Kleen was one of eight golfers to record an eagle on Sunday.
The Bucs, who saw all six of their players score below par on Sunday, tee off in Monday's second round start from No. 1 at 10:21 a.m. ETSU will be paired with Purdue and Wisconsin.
For more information on Buccaneer men’s golf, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s golf page.