DAUFUSKIE ISLAND, S.C. -- Senior Preston Cole (-2) leads the field after firing a 2-under 70 Sunday, helping the Paladins (+5) to a share of the team lead in the opening day of the 2015-16 season at the Rees Jones Invitational at the par 72, 7,380 yard Haig Point, a Jones Signature Course on Daufuskie Island, S.C.
Cole carded a team-high six birdies on the day, including back-to-back-to-back birdies on No. 2, 3 and 4 to open the round. He made the turn at two under and was even on the back to finish the round one stroke ahead of Thomas LaMorte (-1) of Campbell, Tyler Lail (-1) of Western Carolina, and Charlotte's Nicolas Manifacier (-1) who each shot an opening round 71.
Paladin junior Bryce Howell (+1) is tied for seventh after shooting a 73 with four birdies on Sunday, while freshman Connor Bruns (+3) and senior Wehman Hopke (+3) are tied for 19th after each scored two birdies and an opening-round 75. Senior Preston Heyward (+7) enters Monday's round tied for 37th, while sophomore Hunter Nichols (+9), who is playing as an individual, is tied for 43rd.
The Paladins are tied for the lead with Campbell (+5), while 47th-ranked Charlotte (+6) is just one stroke back in third. Liberty (+7) is fourth after Sunday's round, and No. 26 Kennesaw State (+10) completes the top five.
"The guys played very well today," said Paladin head coach Todd Satterfield at the completion of the round. "It's certainly nice to get off to a good start to the year."
Second round play of the 54-hole tournament begins Monday at 9 a.m., and the tournament will conclude on Tuesday. The Paladins will tee off of No. 10 on Monday at 9:50 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
T1 Furman 293 +5
1 Preston Cole 70 -2
T7 Bryce Howell 73 +1
T19 Connor Bruns 75 +3
T19 Wehman Hopke 75 +3
T37 Preston Heyward 79 +7
T43 Hunter Nichols* 81 +9
*-playing as an individual