MACON, GA. -- Sophomore Wehman Hopke (-4) fired a career-best 68 on Friday to lead Furman in the opening day of the Brickyard Collegiate Championship at the 7,128 yard Brickyard at Riverside Golf Club in Macon, Ga. The Paladins (+6) are tied for ninth place out of 14 teams following the first day of competition.
Hopke, who enters Saturday's second round tied for third place, birdied three holes on the front and repeated the performance with three additional birdies on the back nine to finish the day three strokes back of leader Keith Mitchell (-7) of Georgia, who fired a 65 in the opening round.
Freshman Bryce Howell (+1) finished the day at one over par after carding a 73 in Friday's round. Howell teed off of 10 and birdied two holes on the back nine before completing the round with a birdie on his last hole of the day to finish tied for 27th.
Sophomore Preston Heyward (+4) shot a 76 with two birdies in the his final five holes, tying for 53rd after the opening round, while sophomore Preston Cole (+5) eagled No. 18 to tie for 61st after registering a 77 in Friday's round. Junior Michael Borton (+5) was also tied for 61st after the first round.
"Our team continues to improve," said Furman head coach Todd Satterfield. "Wehman really kept us in the tournament today, playing a fantastic round. Tomorrow we'll need to have our best focus throughout the entire round."
Georgia Tech (-6) holds a one-stroke lead over Virginia Tech (-5) following the first day of competition. Mercer (-4) stands in third place entering the tournament's second round.
The Paladins will tee off of No. 1 Saturday at 10 a.m. in second round action. Live tournament scoring will be available via www.golfstat.com.
T9 Furman 294 +6
T3 Wehman Hopke 68 -4
T27 Bryce Howell 73 +1
T53 Preston Heyward 76 +4
T61 Preston Cole 77 +5
T61 Michael Borton 77 +5
*84 Rob Knight 90 +18
* playing as an individual