April 20, 2012
Rick Lamb's introduction to the Sea Island Golf Resort is first-rate so far.
The Tennessee junior shot 3-under-par 67 Friday to lead his team into sixth place after 18 holes at the 2012 SEC Men's Golf Championship in St. Simons Island, Ga. The Vols as a team opened with 5-over 285.
It was the first competitive round at posh Sea Island for Lamb, who transferred to UT after playing two seasons at Santa Clara. But Lamb carded four birdies against just one bogey in tying for the day's second-best score. He sits only two strokes behind leader Bobby Wyatt of Alabama.
The Crimson Tide (272) also pace the team standings by one shot over Georgia (273) and five ahead of Auburn (277). No other teams made it to red figures on the par-70 Seaside Course, although positions 4-11 are tightly bunched.
Florida (283) and Kentucky (284) fared slightly better than Tennessee's 285, with Arkansas (286), Mississippi (287), Mississippi State (289), South Carolina (289) and Vanderbilt (289) all close behind. LSU trails the field at 16-over 296.
Friday's effort is Lamb's low round for the season and his best score since he closed the Del Walker Intercollegiate last year with 67. His collegiate low is 66 from the opening round of the Pacific Invitational, also last year when Lamb was a member of the Santa Clara squad.
Porteous shot 36-33 for his best opening round of the season by two shots. It also marked his third round in the 60s over his last five and his fifth such round this season.
The senior captain was 2 over through eight holes Friday before posting four birdies against one bogey over his last 10 holes. Porteous, who finished 22nd and 25th in his two previous SEC Championship appearances, is alone in 13th place at 1 under par.
Rodgers began his debut SEC round with double bogey but didn't panic. The Farragut sophomore was still 2 over through 15 holes when he doubled again at the par-4 16th to finish at 4-over 74. Rodgers posted two birdies on the back nine during his mini-rally and carded 38-36 to settle in 42nd place.
Vandeventer scattered five bogeys among 13 pars for his opening-round 75. The junior matched Porteous here the last two seasons with finishes of 22nd and 25th, but will have to rally this time. Vandeventer is tied for 48th after Friday's 37-38 start, but season trends show the first round has been his worst of the three (75.6 compared to 72.7 and 73.0).
Keddie also has work to do to match his tie for sixth a year ago after opening with 77 Friday. The sophomore began with birdie at the first but never could duplicate it, finishing with six bogeys and one double-bogey to shoot 37-40 and tie for 55th place.
Tennessee's second round begins Saturday at 8 a.m. on the No. 1 tee, playing alongside Florida and Kentucky. Georgia's coastal forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms and a high of 77, with winds near 10 mph.
|T-9.||Mississippi State||289 (+9)|
|T-9.||South Carolina||289 (+9)|
|1.||Bobby Wyatt, Alabama||65 (-5)|
|T-2.||Rick Lamb, TENNESSEE||67 (-3)|
|T-2.||Wesley Bryan, South Carolina||67 (-3)|
|T-2.||T.J. Mitchell, Georgia||67 (-3)|
|T-2.||Chad Ramey, Mississippi State||67 (-3)|
|T-2.||T.J. Vogel, Florida||67 (-3)|
|T-2.||Rick Lamb||67 (-3)|
|13.||Garrick Porteous||69 (-1)|
|T-42.||Brandon Rodgers||74 (+4)|
|T-48.||Jay Vandeventer||75 (+5)|
|T-55.||Danny Keddie||77 (+7)|