Feb. 8, 2004
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--The Tennessee men's golf team opened play at the 2004 Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship in third place by shooting a 303. The tournament is being played at Sawgrass Golf and Country Club (par 72, 6,985 yards).
Leading the way for the Vols are juniors David Skinns and Ross McGowan. Both players ended the day with scores of 73 to tie them for fifth place. Skinns opened play on the front nine with birdies on holes two and eight, as well as two bogeys on four and six to make the turn with an even-par 36. He continued his solid play on holes 10-13, before a bogey on 14. From there Skinns would make par on the final holes for his score of 73.
McGowan struggled to open the first round with a bogey on hole two and a double bogey on five before recording his first birdie on eight to make the turn with a 2-over-par 38. The back nine saw McGowan start with a bogey on 10, before back-to-back birdies on 11 and 12. He then recorded another bogey on 17, followed by a birdie on 18 to close out the round.
Freshman Jonathan Mount was next for UT with a 78, tying him for 31st place. Mount opened play with a 2-over-par 38 on the front nine that included a double-bogey on one, two bogeys on two and four, as well as an eagle on the eighth hole. After making a birdie on the eleventh hole, Mount struggled with bogeys on 13 and 15 and double-bogeys on 14 and 16, before ending the day with a birdie on 18.
Junior John-Scott Rattan stands one stroke back of Mount, tied for 41st with a 79. Rattan struggled during the first nine holes with a bogey on one, followed by a double-bogey on two and back-to-back bogeys on three and four. He then recorded another bogey on eight to make the turn with a score of 42. He was unable to get on track to open the back nine, as he shot another double-bogey on 10. A birdie on 13 was then followed by straight pars to end the round.
Sophomore Lloyd Campbell rounded out the Vol scoring with an 89. Campbell opened the round on the front nine with a 46 that included two double-bogeys, four bogeys and one birdie. The back nine saw him record five more bogeys and a double-bogey to end the day tied for 89th place.
South Carolina leads the tournament with an even-par score of 288. Top-ranked Florida is in second with a 299, followed by the Vols and LSU (305) to round out the top teams. Several ranked teams from the Golfweek Top 25 are competing, such as No. 2 Clemson (306) in fifth, No. 13 Oklahoma State (308) in sixth, No. 14 Texas (311) in seventh, No. 16 Duke (314) and No. 3 Georgia (314) in a tie for eighth, No. 24 Kentucky (317) in 11th, No. 22 Northwestern (319), No. 8 Augusta State (319) and No. 10 North Carolina (319) in a tie for 14th.
There is a three-way tie for first in the individual portion of the tournament, with Jason Hartwick of Texas and Eirik Johansen and Jake Thompson of South Carolina all having scores of 71. Camilo Villegas of Florida is in fourth with a 72.
Tennessee returns to action Monday with the second round of play.