PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. -- Sophomore Bryce Howell (-7) is tied for the lead after firing a 7-under 65 to lead the Paladins (+1) Sunday in the opening day of the 2014-15 season at the Golfweek Program Challenge at the par-72, 6,926 yard True Blue Plantation in Pawleys Island, S.C.
Howell, whose round tied for the fourth-best in Paladin history, notched back-to-back-to-back birdies on No. 2, 3, and 4, then birdied No. 9 to make the turn at four-under, before putting together consecutive birdies on both No. 12 and 13 and No. 15 and 16 on the back. He finished Sunday's round tied with Jared Magoline (-7) of Valparaiso, who was five-under on the front and two-under on the back nine.
Paladin senior Michael Borton (+2) notched a 74 in Sunday's first round after birdieing two holes each on the front and the back to finish the day tied for 42nd, while juniors Preston Heyward (+3) and Preston Cole (+3) are tied for 46th after scoring a 75 in the opening round. Heyward birdied No. 15, and Cole posted three birdies on the day. Freshman Adam Garret (+6) scored a 78 in his first collegiate round, birdieing the par-5 No. 4 to tie for 56th place heading into Monday's second round.
Valparaiso (-15) holds a three-stroke lead after carding a 273 in Sunday's opener. Gardner-Webb (-12) is three strokes behind in second, followed by Old Dominion (-11) in third. The Paladins (+1) enter Monday's second round in ninth place.
Second round play of the 54-hole tournament, which includes a women's stroke play tournament at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and a men's competition at True Blue Plantation, begins Monday at 7:30 a.m., and the tournament will conclude Tuesday with a 7:30 a.m. start.
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
9 Furman 289
T1 Bryce Howell 65
T42 Michael Borton 74
T46 Preston Heward 75
T46 Preston Cole 75
T56 Adam Garrett 78