DEL MAR, Puerto Rico – Freshman Andy Knox and sophomore Robert Hoadley carded 1-over-par 73s Sunday and the UNCG men's golf team finished the first day of the 54-hole Puerto Rico Classic in a tie for 12th place in the elite, 15-team field.
The Spartans and East Tennessee State are tied at 6-over-par 294, leading Big Ten programs Ohio State and Michigan and trailing early front-runner Georgia Tech (278). The Yellow Jackets are fifth nationally according to golfweek.com.
Hoadley and Knox were closely followed by the other two Spartans whose scores counted Sunday. Will Almand and Colin Chapman shot 74 over the 6,904-yard, par-72 River Course at Rio Mar, which is situated about 20 miles east of San Juan.
Knox followed a team-leading performance in the final event of the fall, the UNCG Bridgestone Golf Collegiate, with a solid effort to begin the spring season. He started the round on No. 17 and struggled with three bogeys in a six-hole stretch before finishing his day with a birdie on 16.
Hoadley made his first competitive appearance since last week's announcement that he is one of 12 semifinalists for the Sullivan Award, which recognizes the nation's premier amateur athlete. The citation, given by the Amateur Athletics Union for a combination of athletics and community-based achievements, will announce a group of finalists before the awards ceremony in New York next month.
UNCG begins the spring season rated 86th of the nation's 300 Division I programs in the Golfweek ratings. The Spartans return to action at 9 a.m. EST on Monday. The tournament, which features 13 top-50 programs, is among the best in the college game and will conclude on Tuesday.
PUERTO RICO INVITATIONAL
Rio Mar CC, River Course (Par-72, 6904 yards)
Del Mar, PR
1. Georgia Tech 278; 2. Alabama 281; 3. Oklahoma State 283; 4. Virginia Tech 286; 5. Oklahoma 287; 6. NC State 288; t7. Georgia 289; t7. Northwestern 289; t7. Purdue 289; 10. Clemson 290; 11. Texas 292; t12. East Tennessee State 295; t12. UNCG 294; 14. Ohio State 295; 15. Michigan 300.
Top 10: t1. Marshall Bailey (Virginia Tech) 69; t1. Bud Cauley (Alabama) 69; t1. Spencer Lawson (East Tennessee State) 69; t1. Brad Smith (Ohio State) 69; t1. Kevin Tway (Oklahoma State) 69; Richy Werenski (Georgia Tech) 69; t1. James White (Georgia Tech) 69; t1. Bobby Wyatt (Alabama) 69; t9. Garland Green (Virginia Tech) 70; t9. J.T. Griffin (Georgia Tech) 70; t9. Nicholas Losole (Northwestern) 70; t9. Riley Pumphrey (Oklahoma) 70; t9. Kyle Scott (Georgia Tech) 70; t9. Ryan Sirman (Oklahoma) 70.
UNCG golfers: t36. Robert Hoadley 73; t36. Andy Knox 73; t42. Will Almand 74; t42. Colin Chapman 74; 74. Justin Clement 81.
- UNCG -