Sevierville, Tenn. - Rain and lightning stopped play prior to the first round finishing on day one of the Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate hosted by Tennessee Tech. The men's division, who started at 8:00 am, was through 16 holes when the horn sounded to end play due to inclement weather. The women, who began at 9:00 am, were through 12 holes at stoppage.
Due to the forecast for the rest of the day, the women were suspended until Tuesday morning. Play will resume at 8:30 am with completion of the first round, immediately followed by the second round.
The men tried to resume play after an hour and a half delay. Andrew Warner and Shane Sampair completed their round, while Dallas Hill and Matt Campbell were just off the greens of their final hole. James Stepp was on the tee box for his 18th hole of the day, but his group was pulled due to lightning in the area.
The remaining men to finish the first round will resume play at 8:30. The original 54-hole tournament will be cut down to 36-holes. The second round will begin at 9:30 am after a redraw and change of pin placements.
The men played the first 18 holes on the Par-72, 6,928 yard River Course at the Sevierville Golf Club in Sevierville, Tenn. The lone Tigers in the clubhouse after round one, Warner and Sampair, each entered with a 4-over, 76.
Sampair started hot by hitting his first 13 greens and was 1-under heading into his final five holes. On the par-4 15th, the sophomore transfer sank a 20-foot putt to earn his only birdie on the day. Sampair ran into trouble on the par-4 second but used an up and down from 40-yards out to save bogey and any other damage. On the next hole, the par-5 third, Sampair found himself in the weeds after his second shot, but was able to work his way back and drained a 15-foot putt for his second straight bogey.
Warner stayed consistent most of the day as he found the fairways on 13 out of his 14 opportunities. He also hit 13 greens to record 12 pars. Warner started play on the par-4 fifth and used a 20-footer to save par. On the par-5 10th, Warner hit his third shot from 85 yards out to within two feet for an easy tap in birdie.
Stepp, is sitting 4-over with the par-3 4th yet to play. The sophomore recorded 10 pars and picked up birdies on the par-4 12th and the par-4 14th. On the 12th, he used a gap-wedge from 131 yards out to within a foot for a tap in birdie. On the 14th, Stepp hit a 2-iron off the tee and a pitching wedge from 153 yards away to within three feet setting up the birdie.
Campbell hit 12 fairways through the first round and knocked down a birdie on the par-5 18th. The sophomore tried to layup and it held on from going out of bounds. He used a 7-iron from 181 yards out and landed just two feet from the hole. On the par-3 fourth, Campbell just missed a hole-in-one as his 2-iron off the tee hit about three feet from the hole and bounced up and hit the pin. The ball somehow came to rest an inch behind the hole.
Hill found 10 fairways and seven greens on the day. On the par-5 third, Hill drove his tee shot 330 yards and hit a 5-iron from 190 yards out to within 25 feet. The sophomore just missed his eagle chance as his putt missed just to the right of the hole and left himself a 10-inch birdie attempt.
Kelly Merkel has completed 12 holes and will resume play from the fairway of the par-first. Merkel ran into trouble with a quadruple-bogey on the ninth and a double-bogey on the tenth. The freshman attacked back on the par-3 11th as she used a 6-iron that found the back of the green and drained a 15 foot putt for a birdie. On the par-5 14th, Merkel drove a 3-wood to 150 yards out. She then used a 7-iron to reach the fringe and just missed an eagle by a foot to settle for a birdie.
Amelia Dap played 13 holes and will start on the tee box at the par-5 third. Dap found six fairways out of eight attempts and recorded three pars. Dap used an up and down on the second and chipped up on eight for pars. On the 14th, Dap over shot the green on her third shot, but chipped her fourth shot to three feet away from the pin setting up her third par of the day.
Sarah Needleman is on the third-hole fairway, her 13th hole of round one. On her first hole of the day, the par-5 ninth, Needleman utilized an up and down and a 20-foot putt to save par. The freshman struggled off the tee box throughout the day, but she started to find her shot on the final three holes before the horn sounded to suspend play.