Defending champion Georgia State stood fifth after the opening round of the Wexford Plantation Intercollegiate when play was halted due to darkness. The Panthers have approximately five holes to play and will resume competition at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
The 8:30 a.m. shotgun was delayed about an hour on Monday morning due to frost. On Tuesday, the second round will be completed before the final round gets underway.
Freshman Jonathan Grey led the Panthers with an opening round even par 72 and is tied for seventh, just three strokes off the lead. Grey, ranked 65th in the latest Golfweek rankings, has finished in the top 20 in all five tournaments this season.
Defending champion sophomore Damon Stephenson fired an opening round 2-over 74 and stands tied for 18th.
“We got off to a slow start but fought back and played much better toward the end of the first round,” commented head coach Joe Inman. “After the first round, we were just seven strokes off the lead and in college golf you can overcome that rather quickly.”
Tyler Gruca, who finished runner-up to Stephenson last year, shot an opening round 3-over 75 and is tied for 24th following the first round.
Juniors Grant Cagle and Victor Lavin fired opening round scores of 5-over 77’s to stand tied for 39th.
Host Francis Marion holds the first round lead following an opening round 3-over 291. Richmond stands just one stroke back at 4-over, followed by Georgia Southern in third at 8-over. South Florida stands alone in fourth at 9-over, one stroke ahead of Georgia State. Following the Panthers are Davidson and Presbyterian College at 11-over, tied for sixth.
South Florida’s Trey Valentine shot an opening round 3-under 69 to lead by one stroke over a group that includes Francis Marion’s Kenneth Svanum, Richmond’s Daniel Walker and Western Carolina’s J.T. Poston at 2-under. Tied for fifth are Georgia Southern’s Hayden Anderson and Campbell’s Amanjyot Singh at 1-under.
Following the event, Georgia State will return to the course March 11-12 at the Cleveland Golf/Palmetto Intercollegiate in Aiken, S.C. The two-day event will begin a stretch of three tournaments in 13 days for the Panthers who are looking to return to the NCAA Regionals in May.