By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
HEBRON, Ky. - Head coach Polk Brown said he was looking forward to seeing how the Tennessee Tech men's golf team would rebound from last week's finish at the Miller Memorial Invitational. It's safe to assume he's happy with the results so far.
Off the power of huge first rounds from sophomore Mitch Thomas (first place) and junior Lee Whitehead (tied for second), the Golden Eagles sit atop the leaderboard after 18 holes at the Bearcat Invitational hosted by Cincinnati.
Depsite a late start to the day (the shotgun was rescheduled for 10:30 a.m. CDT due to impending weather), Tech came out blistering hot through the event's first round, totaling a season-low round of 284 to lead 16 other teams, including five from the Ohio Valley Conference. In that group are last year's OVC champion (Austin Peay) as well two teams from Cincinnati.
For the second straight week, Thomas started hot right out of the gate, carding a season-low 68 on the 7,100 yard, par-72 Traditions Golf Club. The score, which is the second-lowest of any Golden Eagle on the year, was good enough to place the sophomore in first place overall, his highest ranking of his Tech career.
The success of Round One was far from an individual effort, however, as Whitehead finished right behind Thomas. The wiley veteran cruised through the opening round, scoring an impressive 3-under 69 to tie for second with APSU's Anthony Bradley, an NCAA Championship qualifier last year.
Not to be forgotten, sophomore Bryce Kendrick also posted a sub-par (far from subpar) score in the first day of action. After a 1-under 72, Kendrick is tied for ninth place.
Play continued after the first 18 holes of the day, as the teams pushed to get through as much of Round Two as possible before darkness set in. The second round will resume Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. with Round Three to follow immediately after.