Murray, Ky. – The Tennessee State men’s golf team had to wait to get the season started, but they responded by getting off to a fast start on Monday at the Murray State Invitational. Transfer Todd McGill finished the first round tied for first after posting a 4-under, 67 and led the Tigers to a second place standing with a 5-over, 289.
At the end of the day, the Tigers (289-296=585) are in fifth with a 17-over at the Par-71, 6,601-yard Miller Memorial Golf Course. The 13-team field dealt with tricky winds and temperatures in the low 70’s for the first two rounds.
“I am very excited about the performance of the newcomers today,” said head coach Parrish McGrath. “I look forward to seeing what tomorrow will bring. Day one of their Division-I career was a great success and the future is bright for TSU golf.”
Wright State and Alabama State are atop the leaderboard of the 13 team field at 7-over, 10 strokes ahead of the Tigers. Murray State is third at 14-over, while UT Martin is 15-over in fourth to round out the top five.
McGill (67-74=141) shot a 3-over, 74 in the second round to close out the day at 1-under. The sophomore-transfer heads into the final round in fifth, eight strokes behind individuals leader, Francis Berthiaume of Alabama State.
The second hole of the day was a preview of what was to come for McGill as he chipped in from off the green to record his first birdie of the day. The Knoxville native continued consistent play before knocking down clutch putts to birdie the final three holes of the morning session. An eight-footer on No. 8 proved to be minor as he dropped a 40-footer on No. 9 and a 20-footer on 10.
During the afternoon, McGill used a 4-iron off the box on the par-3, 18th, landing three feet from the flag, setting up his lone birdie of the second round.
Jermey Fultz (75-71=146) paced the Tigers during the second round with an Even, 71. The freshman leaped 14 spots in the standings from the first round to the second and is 17th at 4-over. Fultz did not card a birdie through the first 18-holes, but rebounded over the next 18 by carding five 1-under’s.
Fellow freshman Andy Stout (74-75=149) started his career with four birdies on the day and found 24 of 36 greens. Stout is tied with senior James Stepp for 28th with a 7-over in the field of 75 golfers.
Stepp (73-76=149) found success in both rounds on the par-4, 6th. A wedge shot in the morning set up a birdie while the second session proved to be one of the more impressive shots on the day for the Cheatham, Tenn. product. Stepp found himself in the trees off the box, but was able to punch out from under the low hanging branches to three feet of the cup to set up the short distance putt.
Blake Burgett (77-81=158) did not score for the Tigers on Monday despite carding three birdies. The junior took advantage of the par-5, 12th in each round to cut strokes off his score. On the par-3, 16th, Burgett hit a 9-iron off the tee box to within three feet of the pin to register his third birdie.
The Tigers will play the final 18-holes on Tuesday morning beginning at 9:00am. TSU will be paired with Ohio Valley Conference opponents, UT Martin and Eastern Kentucky.