By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
SAPPHIRE, N.C. - The Tennessee Tech men's golf team accomplished exactly what it was hoping to Sunday morning, getting off to a hot start at the Hummingbird Intercollegiate in Sapphire, N.C.
The Golden Eagles placed four golfers in the top 15 spots after 18 holes of play, using hot play from multiple spots to grab third place and just five strokes back of first. Tech shot an impressive 288 at Western Carolina's fall event, scoring a +4 total score at the par-71, 6,767-yard Country Club of Sapphire Valley.
Coming as no surprise, Tech found sophomore Mitch Thomas leading the way with an even score of 71 to tie for fifth place overall. Perhaps a little surprising, however, was the impressive play of junior Maxx Verble, who tie Thomas for fifth with a 71 of his own. Verble is playing in his first event of the season, not counting tournaments he particpated in as an individual, and could not have provided a much better start.
Right behind Thomas and Verble were the always-capable Lee Whitehead and Adam Cunningham. The two tied for 15th with identical 73's to close out the scoring for the first round for Tech. Mason Griffin finished the day with an 80.
With still two more rounds over the next two days, Tech will need to maintain its spectacular play if it hopes to catch the first round-leading Belmont Bruins, who carded a 283 for the top spot.
Round Two will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. CT on Monday, Nov. 4 with the event being closed out on Tuesday, Nov. 5.