Tornados nine strokes off the pace after 18 holes

ETOWAH, N.C. – Brevard finished the first round of the 2016 South Atlantic Conference Men’s Golf Championship in a tie for eighth, nine strokes off the pace set by Lenoir-Rhyne and Carson-Newman, on the team’s home course at nearby Etowah Valley Golf Club on Sunday.

Brevard and Newberry, the Southeast Region’s 10th-ranked team, each shot a 16-over 304 in the first round to land nine strokes behind the leaders in a tightly-bunched field. Oskar Lundgren paced the Tornados with a two-over 74 through 18 holes. The second team all-conference honoree found his second wind in the back nine, recording back-to-back birdies on holes 11 and 12.

Luis Vega finished a stroke behind Lundgren in a 12-way tie for 14th, placing 25 players within five strokes of individual leaders Hunter McCombs of Lenoir-Rhyne and Jon Noble of Queens. The junior was the first of six players in the field to record an eagle, needing just three strokes to tame the par-five, 490-yard sixth hole.

Paul Calac’s eagle on the par-five 18th made the Tornados the only team in the field with multiple eagles on the day. He rebounded expertly from a challenging front nine to finish a stroke under par on the back and land at six over for the day. Craig Stephen joined Calac with a 78, while Sebastian Strehl used three birdies on the back nine to finish at five-over and in third place for the Tornados.

The duo of Lenoir-Rhyne and Carson-Newman each finished at seven over, sitting atop a field of nine teams within nine strokes of the lead. The Bears were led by a two-under 70 from Hunter McCombs, who tied for the lead after a round that featured five birdies. McCombs shared the lead with Jon Noble of Queens after the Royals’ sophomore fired three birdies and an eagle on the first six holes.

The Eagles entered the tournament ranked third in the Southeast Region and 17th in the latest national coaches’ poll. A trio of Eagles ended the day tied for third at one over par, while Andrew Hall provided the Eagles’ fourth score with a four-over 76. Each of the four players to contribute to the team total notched at least two birdies on the afternoon.

Mars Hill sits in third place three strokes behind the leaders, while Coker and Lincoln Memorial are tied for fourth five strokes off the pace. Queens and Wingate are tied for sixth place at 15 over par eight strokes out of the lead, while Newberry and tournament hosts Brevard sit one stroke further behind. Anderson (+22), Tusculum (+23), and Catawba (+29) round out the field.

Tournament play continues with 18 holes on Monday prior to Tuesday’s final round. Live scoring is available throughout the tournament at this link.

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