Feb. 4, 2014
Ponte Vedra, Fla. -- After one official round at the Sea Best Invitational, the Tennessee men's golf team is in three-way tie for fifth place.
Monday was supposed to see the 16-team field complete 36-holes at the TPC Sawgrass PLAYERS Stadium course. However, early darkness forced play to be suspended midway through the second round.
Despite the abrupt ending, the Volunteers managed to stay towards the top of the Sea Best leaderboard by carding a round of 304 (+16). The 16-over par morning was highlighted by a combined 13 Big Orange birdies.
Brandon Rodgers led the Tennessee charge, accounting for three of UT's 13 birdies. The senior from Knoxville shot a first round 75 (+3) and is officially tied for 17th place.
"The only part that I found tough today was the greens. They got a little bumpy in the afternoon," Rodgers said. "I felt like I played some of my best golf of the year except for butchering the par 5s. I wouldn't say I'm happy with the results but I think we're in a good position for tomorrow. Hopefully, we can make a run at the leaders."
Another Knoxville native also helped keep the Volunteers in contention on Monday. Matching Rodgers, freshman Jack Smith carded a first round 75 (+3). The Big Orange diaper dandy struggled on the front nine before bouncing back to record a flawless back nine that consisted of one birdie and eight pars.
Sophomores Oliver Goss and Chad Merzbacher found themselves in the middle of the pack after day one. The duo registered scores of 77 (+5). Heading into the final hole, Goss led the Volunteers at 2-over par. However, a nasty triple-bogey on No. 18 served as an unpleasant reminder for Tuesday's final round.
Marshall Talkington rounded out the Tennessee starting five by carding a 78 (+6). The senior from Jackson, Tenn., birdied his first and seventh hole of the day before going cold down the back nine.
Grant Daugherty played the TPC Sawgrass course as an individual for the Volunteers. The sophomore saw his first action in orange since the Windon Memorial in 2012. Daugherty finished his first round by carding a 78 (+6).
The Rest of the Sea Best
The Flames of Liberty University hold a commanding lead over the field after shooting a first round 291 (+3). The Flames have a seven stroke cushion heading into the final day.
Winthrop's Bradley Kauffman had an ace from 125 yards out on the No. 17 island green. The freshman Kauffman hit his first career hole-in-one with a 50 degree wedge.
On Tuesday, Tennessee will pick up where it left off in the second round at 8 a.m. ET. The final round is expected to get underway at 10 a.m. ET.
For a full leaderboard rundown, Click Here.
Volunteer fans can continue to keep up with the team by following @Vol_Golf on Twitter.
|TEAM SCORES (Through One Round)|
|2.||North Florida||298 (+10)|
|3.||USC Upstate||302 (+14)|
|8.||Texas A&M||306 (+18)|
|9.||Jacksonville St.||308 (+20)|
|10.||East Carolina||309 (+21)|
|11.||Florida Gulf Coast||311 (+23)|
|12.||Old Dominion||319 (+31)|
|T-13.||Florida Atlantic||320 (+32)|
|16.||Cal Poly||322 (+34)|
|INDIVIDUAL LEADERS (Through One Round)|
|T-1.||Chase Marinell, Liberty||71 (-1)|
|T-1.||Niklas Lindstrom, Liberty||71 (-1)|
|T-1.||Ben Crancer, Texas A&M||71 (-1)|
|T-1.||Connor O'Rourke, Florida Atlantic||71 (-1)|
|UT SCORES (Through One Round)|
|T-17.||Brandon Rodgers||75 (+3)|
|T-17.||Jack Smith||75 (+3)|
|T-29.||Oliver Goss||77 (+5)|
|T-29.||Chad Merzbacher||77 (+5)|
|T-36.||Marshall Talkington||78 (+6)|
|T-36.||Grant Daugherty||78 (+6)|