MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (April 2) – Alexander Hughes fired consecutive under-par rounds to put himself in the hunt for the individual title and lead Central Oklahoma to a seventh-place showing after first-day play at the Battle at the Shores here Monday.
Hughes shot 68-69 for a five-under 141 total after two trips around the 6,733-yard, par-71 Normandy Shores Golf Club as the Bronchos had rounds of 287-295 for a 582 total. Florida Southern leads the 18-team tournament at 558, followed by Lynn (560), host Barry (561), Nova Southeastern (564) and Florida Tech (566).
Final-round play begins at 7:30 a.m. (Oklahoma time) Tuesday.
Hughes’ 68-69 day for a 137 total led the way for UCO and he’s tied for second in the medalist standings. Wesley Jackson (75-73) and Eli Armstrong (73-75) were at 148, while Nick Piece had rounds of 71-78 and Yannic Oppenheimer 77-78.
Hughes made eight birdies on the day against just three bogeys. The winner of two individual titles this year, the junior standout shot back-to-back 34s in the morning round before coming back with a 34-35. He started on the first hole and birdied the par-5 18th in both rounds.
Jackson made an eagle on the par-5 third hole to highlight his opening-round 75 before making a pair of birdies in the afternoon 73. Armstrong birdied No. 18 to cap off a morning 73, then made three birdies against five bogeys and a double bogey in his afternoon 75.
Piece had a chance to go really low for the Bronchos in the morning, but was sidelined by one bad hole in the middle and a tough finish.
He started on No. 3 and was five-under after eight holes before making triple bogey on the par-4 11th. Piece rebounded to play the next seven holes at one-under to get back to minus-three, but finished double bogey-bogey for an opening-round 71.
UCO women in fourth in Henderson State
MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (April 2) – All five Central Oklahoma players broke 80 on a tough day for scoring at the Henderson State Spring Invitational that started here Monday.
The Bronchos finished with a 312 total at the par-72 Big Creek Golf Club, where 37-degree weather with freezing wind chills caused scores to soar as only 26 of 71 players in the field shot in the 70s.
Host Henderson State and Texas A&M-Commerce share the lead in the 14-team tournament with 303 totals, followed by Arkansas-Fort Smith (306), UCO and Lincoln (313). Final-round play is slated to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Yuna Sato led UCO with a 77, while Marla Souvannasing and Sydney Roberts both shot 78 and Anna Pool and Makena Mucciaccio each had 79s.
Sato and Mucciaccio each made two birdies during their rounds, while Roberts had 13 pars to rank among the leaders on the opening day.