The No. 9 Tennessee men’s golf team fired an 8-over-par 296 to find itself in seventh place after the first round at the 2008 SEC Championships played Friday at the Frederica Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga.
The par-72, 7,217-yard course is hosting the championships for the first year and presented a new challenge for all 12 SEC teams.
“We just got off to a slow start and we did not play well on the front nine,” head coach Jim Kelson said. “But I was proud of the way our team responded on the back nine. We played well and we hung in there pretty tough.”
“We are in seventh and in position to have a good round tomorrow and move up. Although it was not the start we wanted, I was proud of the way they salvaged a decent round.”
Knoxville native David Holmes paced the Vols with an even-par 72 in the first round. The sophomore is tied for eighth place. Holmes played a consistent first round with two birdies and only two bogeys.
Senior Philip Pettitt and freshman Robin Wingardh both shot a 2-over-par 74 in the first round and are tied for 24th. Pettitt carded par-or-better on 15 holes, his lone birdie coming on the 15th hole. Wingardh went 4 over through the first seven holes but regained his form going 1 under on the back nine to finish the day at 2 over.
Senior Charlie Ford finished with a 4-over-par 76 and is tied for 39th. Ford struggled with four bogeys on the front nine but rebounded and went even par on the back nine.
Chris Paisley rounded out the lineup for the Volunteers in 44th place after a 5-over-par 77. The junior got off to a rough start with a double bogey o the first hole but battled to finish one over on the back nine.
No. 2 Alabama opened a five-stroke lead on the field with a team score of 3-under-par 285. No. 1 Georgia and No. 7 Florida fired scores of 290, tying for second at 2 over. LSU is third at 4 over with Mississippi rounding out the top five at 5 over.
The second round is scheduled to being Saturday morning at 8 a.m. Eastern time. Live results can be found at www.golfstat.com and www.utsports.com. Above rankings are based on the Golfweek/Sagarin team ratings.
|1.||Joseph Sykora, Alabama||68|
|2t.||Jesse Speirs, Mississippi||70|
|2t.||Michael Thompson, Alabama||70|
|4t.||Noah Goldman, Mississippi||71|
|4t.||Brian Harman, Georgia||71|
|4t.||John Peterson, LSU||71|
|4t.||Billy Horschel, Florida||71|