Opelika, Ala., – As the ominous rain clouds closed in on the Grand National Golf Course, the Bulldogs closed in on the top spot at the 2013 Tiger Invitational with a 4-over-par, 292 opening round.
No. 41 Mississippi State sits only two strokes behind current clubhouse leader East Carolina, who finished the day with a 2-over-par, 290. Kennesaw State and No. 24 Wake Forest are nipping at the Bulldogs’ heels after their 5-over-par opening round.
“We played some really good golf today and finished on a high note,” Coach Clay Homan said. “Both Robi and Joe finished with two birdies and Axel added another to keep us headed in the right direction. The Lakes Course has about four holes that are as difficult as you will see. We struggled on hole 15, but did what we needed on the par 5’s by playing them 13 under in round one. We are in the final pairing tomorrow, but we have so much golf left to play that we can’t get ahead of ourselves. We just have to get back after it tomorrow.”
MSU finished well above its average opening-round score on Monday; Homan’s squad averages a 295.2 in round ones this season. The 292 at the Tiger Invitational is tied for second-lowest total score for an opening round. State averages a 287.8 in round twos, so the great score to tee off the tourney puts the Bulldogs on the path to victory.
One player who always seems to be on the path to victory is junior Chad Ramey. After nailing five birdies in the opening 18 holes Ramey finished at Even-par. His 72 card was good enough to tie for sixth place at the Tiger Invitational. If Ramey keeps up his top-10 performance, it will be his fifth top 10 finish of the season.
Fellow juniors Joe Sakulpolphaisan and Axel Boasson ended Monday tied for 13th with five others. The two shot a 1-over-par, 73 on the day. Sakulpolphaisan has a team leading six top-25 finishes on the year.
Senior Robi Calvesbert turned in a 2-over-par, 74 in the opening round from Opelika. Calvesbert sits poised for his fifth top-25 card after finished the first 18 holes tied for the 20th spot.
Rounding out the Maroon and White scoring on Monday was sophomore Fletcher Johnson. The Tupelo, Miss., native fired off a 5-over-par, 77 at the Grand National course. Johnson is tied for 44th after the opening round.
The rain-soaked round two will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday; round three will begin immediately after.
Live stats will be available through HailState.com. Fans can also follow the men’s golf program through Facebook at facebook.com/mstateMG and on Twitter at @mstateMG.
MSU Individual Results
T6 Chad Ramey 72, E
T13 Joe Sakulpolphaisan 73, +1
T13 Axel Boasson 73, +1
T20 Robi Calvesbert 74, +2
T44 Fletcher Johnson 77, +5