AWENDAW, S.C. - Led by matching scores of 2-under par 70 by both senior Sang Yi and sophomore Smylie Kaufman, the 18th-ranked LSU men's golf team finished Sunday's first round at the eighth-annual Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate just one shot off the pace after recording a team score of 2-under 286 at the par-72 Bulls Bay Golf Club.
The Tigers trail No. 3-ranked Auburn and Kentucky by just one shot as they are in the hunt to win a third-straight team title at The Hootie following back-to-back wins in 2010 and 2011.
The 24th-ranked Virginia Cavaliers follow in fourth place in the team standing at 1-under par 287, while the 15th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies round out the top five in fifth place at 1-over 289.
Both Yi and Kaufman were among eight golfers firing a 2-under 70 in the opening round to finish the day in a tie for second place on the individual leaderboard. Virginia's Ji Soo Park snatched the lead in the first round after opening the championship with a 3-under 69 on Sunday.
The Tiger tandem matched one another shot for shot while each carding three birdies and just one bogey on the day en route to opening scores of 2-under par 70.
Yi dipped into red figures on the front nine with two birdies on the par-five fourth and sixth holes to drop to 2-under par for his round. He then dropped to 3-under for the day with a birdie at the par-five 10th hole before carding his lone bogey down the stretch at the par-four 16th hole en route to an opening score of 2-under par 70 during Sunday's competition.
Kaufman dropped to 1-under par for the day with his first birdie on the par-five fourth hole. After trading a birdie at the par-five 10th hole with a bogey at the par-four 11th hole, Kaufman added his third birdie of the day at the par-four 15th hole while matching Yi with a 2-under 70.
On the strength of their performance, the Tigers broke par for the third-straight round, and for the sixth time in seven rounds dating back to the opening round of the Louisiana Classics.
Sophomore standout Andrew Presley carded three birdies, one bogey and one double bogey in the first round while firing an even-par 72 to finish the day in a tie for 18th place on the individual leaderboard. Senior Austin Gutgsell added a 2-over 74 to tie for 39th place, while freshman Curtis Thompson opened with a 4-over 76 to finish the afternoon in a tie for 59th place overall.
The Tigers are paired with Auburn and Kentucky in Monday's second round and will open up the second round on Monday in the final wave off the front nine with tee times beginning at 9:40 a.m. CDT. Live scoring is provided by Golfstat and can be found online at www.golfstat.com.
HOOTIE AT BULLS BAY INTERCOLLEGIATE - FIRST ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 288)
T1. Kentucky 285 -3; T1. Auburn 285 -3; 3. LSU 286 -2; 4. Virginia 287 -1; 5. Texas A&M 289 +1; 6. North Carolina 290 +2; T7. South Carolina 291 +3; T7. NC State 291 +3; 9. Ole Miss 292 +4; 10. Maryland 293 +5; T11. Augusta State 294 +6; T11. Wofford 294 +6; 13. College of Charleston 295 +7; 14. Wake Forest 298 +10; 15. Wisconsin 301 +13.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 72)
1. Ji Soo Park, Virginia, 69 -3; T2. Smylie Kaufman, LSU, 70 -2; T2. Sang Yi, LSU, 70 -2; T2. Lee Bedford, Wake Forest, 70 -2; T2. Niclas Carlsson, Auburn, 70 -2; T2. Ben Kohles, Virginia, 70 -2; T2. Michael McGowan, North Carolina, 70 -2; T2. Cameron Peck, Texas A&M, 70 -2; T2. David Snyder, Kentucky, 70 -2; T10. Joseph Barr, Kentucky, 71 -1; T10. Dominic Bozzelli, Auburn, 71 -1; T10. Joe David, Ole Miss, 71 -1; T10. Cody Martin, Kentucky, 71 -1; T10. Jordan Russell, Texas A&M, 71 -1; T10. Caleb Sturgeon, South Carolina, 71 -1; T10. Mitchell Sutton, NC State, 71 -1; T10. Brent Whitehead, Wofford, 71 -1.