NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State men’s golf team opened the season with a victory over Fisk on Friday afternoon. The Tigers claimed a 286-303 victory over the Bulldogs at the Par-72, Ted Rhoades Golf Course.
Junior Todd McGill finished the day as top medalist with a 3-under, 69 and was followed by red-shirt senior Blake Burgett who carded a 2-under, 70, and sophomore Jermey Fultz with an Even, 72.
Three freshmen debuted for the Tigers on Friday, with Drew Owens scoring for TSU at 3-over (75) ahead of Sam Gatlin who opened with a 5-over, 77. Rosario Falzone played as an individual but managed to post the fourth best score of the day with a 1-over, 73.
Falzone completed his first collegiate event by finding eight greens, four fairways and used just 26 putts. The redshirt-freshman birdied one hole on the front side and picked up his game with three on the back-nine.
Falzone earned his first one-under on the par-4, 6th, as he hit a wedge from 80 yards out to six feet of the pin. The Nashville product made the turn and found success on the par-5, 10th, as he found himself just off the green in two shots and chipped to within a foot of the cup for an easy birdie.
He continued his charge with back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16. Falzone converted a 15-footer for the first of his two and reached the fringe in two on 16 and lipped out on his eagle attempt, leaving a tap in to bring his score down to 1-under.
The lone senior on the squad, Burgett managed just four fairways, but used his irons successfully to hit 13 greens. Burgett birdied all the par-5’s on the back nine, which included an 80 yard shot to five feet of the 17th hole for the makeable putt.
Fultz earned three birdies on the day, beginning with a four-footer on No. 4. On No. 10, Fultz hit a hot 5-iron to 20 feet of the cup and two putted to cut his score. The Knoxville native’s final birdie came on the 17th as he hit a wedge from 110 out to five feet.
Gatlin found success off the box and with the irons as he hit 9-of-14 fairways and 13 greens. The freshman needed 34 putts and registered three up-and-downs during his first collegiate round. Gatlin highlighted his day on the par-4, 11th, as his fairway shot landed 10 feet from the cup for birdie.
The matchup was the first of five days of competition for the Tigers over the next nine days. TSU travels to compete in the Murray State Invitational. The two-day event begins on Monday, Sept. 21.
Tennessee State - 286
1. Todd McGill – 69
2. Blake Burgett – 70
3. Jermey Fultz – 72
7. Drew Owens – 75
9. Sam Gatlin - 77
Fisk – 303
5. Joseph Brown - 74
5. Gabriel Cruz - 74
7. Kyle Harris – 75
10. Cody Gates – 80
11. Laurence Massalieno - 86
4. Rosario Falzone (TSU) - 73