KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – The Georgia State men’s golf team opened the 2014-15 season on Friday with a first round 9-over 297 to stand tied for sixth following the opening round of The Invitational at The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island.
The Panthers were led by a pair of 1-over 73s from senior Davin White and sophomore Nathan Mallonee who are each tied for 15th with 36 holes to play.
This weekend marks the first of four fall events for the Panthers who were receiving votes in the preseason coaches poll after finishing 22nd at the NCAA Championship last year.
“Overall, I thought we got off to a good start today,” head coach Joe Inman said. “We had a couple of holes that hurt us, but overall, we played pretty well. We made a lot of birdies on a difficult course and if we can just clean up the big numbers over the weekend, we will come out of here with the result that I hoped and expected.”
White, an All-Sun Belt First Team member last year, made a pair of birdies on the front nine to shoot 34, but a triple-bogey on the 15th led him to the opening round 73.
Mallonee, who finished first in pre-tournament qualifying, made a pair of birdies in his round en route to his 73.
Senior Damon Stephenson opened play with a first-round 2-over 74. After three front nine bogeys, he rebounded with a pair of back-nine birdies and stands tied for 19th.
Senior Gus Wagoner, making his Georgia State debut, birdied three of his first five holes and shot a 1-over 37 on the front nine, but stumbled on the back-nine shooting 40 to shoot an opening round 5-over 77. He enters Saturday tied for 44th.
Freshman Max Herrmann opened his collegiate career with a 7-over 79 and stands tied for 59th.
Junior J.J. Grey, competing as an individual, opened play with an even par 72 that included four birdies. Grey is tied for 13th after 18 holes.
South Florida was the lone team to break par on Friday, shooting tournament-record 6-under 282, a record previously held by Georgia (283 in 2013) to take a nine-stroke lead into the second round. Host College of Charleston is second at 3-over, followed by Duke and Kentucky tied for third at 4-over. Georgia Southern rounds out the top five at 7-over par.
Kentucky’s Cooper Musselman will enter the weekend with a one-stroke lead following a 5-under 67 on Friday. He leads College of Charleston’s John Jonas who stands in second at 4-under par. Georgia Southern’s Scott Wolfes, Duke’s Adam Wood, South Florida’s Chase Koepka and Western Carolina’s Bright Julamool are tied for third at 3-under.
The Ocean Course hosted the 2012 PGA Championship as well as the 1991 Ryder Cup, one of the most remembered events in golf history that became known as the “War on the Shore.”
Tee times begin at 11:40 a.m. on Saturday off holes No. 1 and No. 10. Live scoring can be found throughout the tournament at Golfstat.com.