JONESBOROUGH, TENN. -- Junior Bryce Howell (-2) is tied for third to lead the Furman men's golf team following Friday's opening round at the Bank of Tennessee at Blackthorn at the par 72, 7,147 yard Blackthorn Club at the Ridges in Jonesborough, Tenn.
Howell notched five birdies, including back-to-back birdies on No. 1 and 2 and No. 10 and 11 to finish the round with a two-under 70, one stroke back of leaders Joey Lane (-3) of Virginia Tech and Charlotte's Victor Wiggins (-3), who each fired an opening-round 69.
Senior Wehman Hopke (E) is tied for 11th after birdieing the par-3 No. 3 and adding consecutive birdies on No. 13 and 14 for an even 72. Senior Preston Cole (+4) birdied the par-3 No. 7 and enters Saturday's second round tied for 51st after carding a 76 in the first round, while freshman Connor Bruns (+5) recorded back-to-back birdies on No. 14 and 15 to tie for 59th with a 77. Senior Preston Heyward (+8) also scored five birdies to tie for 73rd. Sophomore Hunter Nichols (+11), who is playing as an individual, is in 79th place going into Saturday's round.
Three teams are tied for first place following the opening round. Penn State (+1), VCU (+1), and Virginia Tech (+1) each carded an opening round 289, while Charlotte (+2) is one stroke back of the leaders. Kent State (+3) completes the top five. The Paladins (+7) are tied for ninth with Missouri (+7) entering Saturday's play.
Second round play of the 54-hole tournament begins Saturday at 8:30 a.m. The Paladins will tee off of No. 1 at 9:20 a.m. Admission to the tournament is free and fans are welcome. Live tournament scoring will also be available via www.golfstat.com.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
T9 Furman 295 +7
T3 Bryce Howell 70 -2
T11 Wehman Hopke 72 E
T51 Preston Cole 76 +4
T59 Connor Bruns 77 +5
T73 Preston Heyward 80 +8
79 Hunter Nichols* 83 +11
*-playing as an individual