PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. --- The Tennessee State men’s golf team got off to a slow start on day one of the 31st PGA Minority Collegiate Championships on Friday. The Tigers combined for a 19-over, 307, and are in fifth place.
Bethune-Cookman leads the team competition after shooting an Even, 288. The Tigers are 19 strokes back and were led on the opening day by Jermey Fultz and Todd McGill. The duo is tied for 10th, after each posted 4-over, 76, and sit five strokes behind individual leader, Sam Sloman of Bethune-Cookman (1-under, 71).
McGill opened the day with a birdie after hitting a wedge to 10 feet of the flag before dropping the putt on the par-5, 1st. The senior bogeyed the third and fourth holes to fall to 1-over, but was able to move back to Even on the par-4, 9th, after sinking a 20 foot putt for birdie. McGill lost three strokes over the next five holes, but earned a stroke back on the par-5, 16th, after knocking a wedge shot to three feet of the hole for his final birdie of the day.
Fultz hit a sand wedge to two feet of the pin to earn his first birdie of the day on the par-4, 2nd. Fultz made the turn at 1-over, but scratched back to Even after chipping in from 15 feet on the par-4, 10th.
Drew Owens and Kody Rendleman joined Fultz and McGill on the scoreboard by carding a 5-over, 77, and a 6-over, 78, respectively.
Playing in his first round in Port St. Lucie since finishing as top medalist in last year’s championship, Owens started slow shooting 5-over on the front side. The sophomore bounced back with birdies on No. 11 and No. 13 to move to 3-over. Owens gave one back on No. 14, but gained it back one hole later. The Atlanta, Ga. product ran into trouble, losing two strokes, on the par-5, 16th, to finish the day at 5-over.
Rendleman birdied the first two holes and held at 2-under through five holes, before losing eight strokes over the next four holes. The junior bounced back with three birdies through the first seven holes on the backside, cutting his score to 4-over. Rendleman gave a stroke back on each of the final two holes and entered the clubhouse at 6-over.
Rosario Falzone carded a non-scoring 11-over, 83, on day one of the three day event.
Fultz will be the first Tiger on the links on Saturday morning with a 10:55 a.m. ET tee time. McGill takes to the course at 11:05 a.m. and will be followed by Drew Owens at 11:15 a.m., Kody Rendleman at 11:25 a.m. and Rosario Falzone at 11:35 a.m.
Day 1 Standings
1. Bethune-Cookman 288 E
2. Incarnate Word 302 +14
3. Savannah State 304 +16
4. Florida A&M 306 +18
5. Tennessee State +19 307
6. North Carolina Central +25 313
7. Hampton +30 318
8. Maryland-Eastern Shore 323 +35
9. Chicago State 326 +38