CASHIERS, N.C. -- Furman junior Wehman Hopke (-4) fired an opening round 67 to tie for the lead and push the Paladin men's golf team into second place Friday at the Hummingbird Intercollegiate at the par 71, 6,767 yard Country Club of Sapphire Valley in Cashiers, N.C.
Hopke eagled the par-5 No. 14 and recorded five birdies to finish the round four under par and tie for the individual lead with Logan Lagodich (-4) of Marshall. The duo is two strokes ahead of six players who are tied for third after carding a 69 in the opening round.
No. 25 Clemson (-6) leads the field, just one stroke ahead of the Paladins (-5), who tied the sixth-best round in Furman golf history with an opening round 279 on Friday. Marshall (E) is in third, followed by Stritch (+7) in fourth, and Wingate (+8) in fifth.
Paladin juniors Preston Cole (-1) and Preston Heyward (-1) are tied for ninth at the completion of the first round. Cole birdied a team-high seven holes on Friday, while Heyward added five birdies, as the Furman duo each carded a one-under 70.
Sophomore Bryce Howell (+1) notched five birdies, including three-straight birdies on No. 5, 6, and 7, to score a one-over 72 and tie for 17th entering Sunday's final round, and senior Michael Borton (+8) birdied No. 2 and No. 14 to tie for 62nd. Freshman Hunter Nichols (+1), who is playing as an individual, is tied for 17th after recording a 72 with four birdies in Friday's round.
Following an off day on Saturday due to predicted inclement weather in Western North Carolina, Furman will tee off of No. 1 beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday in the tournament's final round. Admission to the tournament is free and fans are welcome. Live tournament scoring will also be available via www.birdiefire.com.
Julie Paré, Furmsn Sports Information
2 Furman 279 -5
T1 Wehman Hopke 67 -4
T9 Preston Cole 70 -1
T9 Preston Heyward 70 -1
T17 Bryce Howell 72 +1
T62 Michael Borton 79 +8
*T17 Hunter Nichols 72 +1
*playing as an individual