GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — Walters State's golf team had one of its best rounds of the season Saturday at Link Hills Country Club in Greeneville to take a three-shot lead over host Tusculum, and Alex Hodge holds a two-shot advantage in the individual race after a sensational opening 18 holes.
Walters State opened the tournament with a team score of 5-over par 289, bettering the homestanding Pioneers, who finished at 292 on the day. Shorter is in third at 297, followed by Felician at 310 and Milligan at 311 in the top five. Franklin is sixth at 312, while Tusculum's B squad (317), Davenport (319), Concord (321), Virginia-Wise (326) and Bluefield State (331) round out the 11-team field.
Alex Hodge paced the Senators in the opening round, firing a 5-under par 66 to end the day in first place on the individual scoreboard with a two-stroke lead. Hunter Blanken was also under par, as his 1-under 70 put him in third place overall.
Elliott Smith added a 4-over par 75 to wind up in a tie for 13th place, while Dane Rheinecker added a 7-over par 78 to sit in a tie for 21st place and close out the team score of the day. Andrew Linkous fired an 8-over par 79 and is in a tie for 25th place after 18 holes.
The Senators will compete in the second and final round of the tournament Sunday morning.