By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. – Fresh off a top five finish at the Kenny Perry Invitational, the Tennessee Tech men's golf team placed itself in great position for another such finish at the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate Monday afternoon.
The Golden Eagles played consistently strong golf over the first 36 holes of the event, finishing one-over after rounds of 289 and 288. The 577 put the Tech squad in sole possession of fifth place in the 12-team field, just 10 strokes out of third.
Senior Lee Whitehead led the Golden Eagles with two fantastic rounds, finishing in a tie for 13th out of 74 participants. The wiley veteran wrapped up the first day of action with a final scorecard of 71-70=141, the lowest two-round score of any Tech golfer on the year.
Senior Mason Griffin and juniors Mitch Thomas and Bryce Kendrick all took different paths on their way to tying for 30th after 36 holes. Griffin totaled rounds of 73 and 73 for his 146, while Thomas fought back from a first-round 75 to record a 71 in round two. Kendrick shot scores of 72 and 74 to finish with his own total of 146.
Participating in his first tournament in purple and gold, redshirt freshman A.J. Wilkerson posted a very solid debut, tying for 37th after a two-round score of 147. He tallied a 73 over his first 18 holes before finishing his first day of action with a 74.
Also earning his first action of his Tech career was freshman Alexander Riddle. The Chattanooga native looked nothing like a rookie while playing as an individual, carding a 73-71=144 in his first career event. Adam Cunningham joined Riddle as an individual, scoring a 74-77=151.
"The first two rounds were very successful for the guys," head coach Polk Brown said. "They've really played consistent golf over the past few rounds and they've really positioned themselves nicely for a big second day. Both A.J. and Alexander were impressive in their first collegiate event and I'm excited to see how they wrap up play in Hopkinsville."
Play at the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate will conclude Tuesday morning as the Golden Eagles will kick off play with a 9 a.m. shotgun start.