Verona, Wisconsin. – Paced by two newcomers to the individual top 10, the West Carolina men’s golf team sits in second place just three strokes off the pace after the first of a season-opening Badger Invitational in two weather-shortened rounds to be held at the par-72, 7,259-yard University Ridge golf course.
The rain that forced the cancellation of Sunday’s first round also limited golfers to just 18 holes on Monday, shortening the 54-hole event to just 36 in total to open the 2022 season.
Thomas, an Australian-born sophomore transferring from Indian Hills Community College, birdied a pair of front and back nines to counter a bogey on the par-3 fifth to shoot 3 under the par 69. He was joined by his teammate Pablo Hernandeza redshirted junior from Spain, within 3 as the transfer from Missouri Valley College had a much busier first round, countering four bogeys with five birdies and an eagle on the par-5 ninth for his 69.
Adam Hooker, a graduate transfer from High Point, is tied for 16th after shooting 1 under par 71, blocking three bogeys with four birdies to shoot 71 in his WCU debut. Rounding out the Catamount scoring five are fifth-year senior Louis Theys tied for 37th with a par 73 of 1 over and senior Magnus Pedersen tied for 66th with a par 77 of 5. Theys had five birdies on Monday and Pedersen had a pair of birdies and, like Hernandez, had the ninth.
As a team, the Catamounts lead the 18-team field in a par-5 scoring at 15 under par, including two of 10 eagles in the first round.
WCU trails tournament leader Texas A&M by three strokes, 282-279, entering Tuesday’s final round. The Illinois State Redbirds sit in third place, one stroke behind WCU with Marquette and South Florida tied for fourth with corresponding scores of 284, five strokes behind the leader to complete the top five.
Marquette’s Max Lyons posted a 5-under 67 in the first round to lead a six-under tie for second at 4-under. WCU’s Hernandez and Thomas are tied at seven for eighth.
The final round is scheduled for Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. CT with tee times beginning at both the 1st and 10th tees. Live scoring on GolfStat.com is available online.
2 – West Carolina – 282 = 282 (-6)
T8 – Ryan Thomas – 69 = 69 (-3)
T8 – Pablo Hernandez – 69 = 69 (-3)
T16 – Adam Hooker – 71 = 71 (-1)
T37 – Louis Theys – 73 = 73 (+1)
T86 – Magnus Pedersen -77 = 77 (+5)