By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Tennessee Tech men's golf team dominated the opening day of the Samford Intercollegiate Monday, firing the two best scores of the event through 36 holes to open a commanding 14-stroke lead at Greystone Golf & Country Club.
The Golden Eagles posted a 6-over 294 – a score no other team would beat on the day – over the first 18 holes, tying with Auburn for the overall tournament lead among 10 teams competing. Far from even scratching the surface of the day, however, the Tech squad erupted in the second round, firing a 3-under 285.
The round marked the second-lowest of the season for TTU, behind only its 280 blasted in the opening round of the EKU Raising Canes Intercollegiate. With the monster performance over the second grouping of 18 holes, Tech jumped out to a comfortable 14-stroke lead over the Tigers.
Three Golden Eagles finished the first day of competition in the top-five of the 58 participating players, led by senior Alexander Riddle. The veteran calmly turned in back-to-back rounds under par, finishing with two 71s for a 142 overall to rank second among the field. He tied for the tournament lead with seven birdies through the first 36 holes.
Just one stroke back of his teammate, freshman Will Brooks tied for third on day one after carding an even-par 72 in round one and a 1-under 71 in round two for a 143 overall. Fellow freshman Bracton Womack notched a 2-over 74 over his first 18 holes of the day, but quickly turned it around for a team-low, 2-under 70 over his final 18 holes to tie for fifth overall.
Junior Matthew Giles was next among the Tech finishers, tying for 31st overall with a 77-78=155. Senior A.J. Wilkerson bounced back from a tough 85 in the first round to shave off 12 strokes for a second-round 73. He tied for 38th with a composite score of 158.
UT Martin's Hunter Richardson led all golfers on day one, finishing with back-to-back 70s for a 140 overall.
The third and final round of action is set for an 8:30 a.m. CT start with tee times on Tuesday morning.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information