PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - Junior All-SEC performer Andrew Presley opened this year's John Hayt Invitational by firing a team-low 3-under par 69 in leading the 12th-ranked LSU men's golf team into fourth place in the team standings following Monday's opening round at Sawgrass Country Club.
Presley, who is coming off his second top-five and third top-10 finish of the season with a tie for fifth place at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate last week, carded four birdies and just one bogey on his round as he finished the day in a tie for sixth place on the leaderboard with his first-round score of 3-under 69.
Sophomore Curtis Thompson also broke par during Sunday's action as he fired a 1-under par 71 to tie for 17th place on the leaderboard.
They helped lead the Tigers into fourth place overall with a team score of 2-over par 290 in the opening round. Tournament host and 25th-ranked North Florida fired a 12-under par 276 to grab a six-stroke lead over 11th-ranked Duke in the team standings. Central Florida posted a 2-under 286 for third place and Coastal Carolina carded a 3-over 291 for fifth place to round out the Top 5.
After carding his first birdie of the day at the par-five fourth hole, Presley went out with back-to-back birdies at the par-five eighth and par-four ninth holes in making the turn at 3-under par for his round on Sunday. He dropped a shot with a bogey at the par-five 11th hole before wrapping up the day with a birdie at the par-five 18th hole en route to a 3-under 69 on the day.
Presley played the par-fives at 2-under for the day while making birdie on three of four holes on the golf course.
Thompson carded five birdies and four bogeys on his round while kicking off the championship with a 1-under par 71 to finish the day in a tie for 17th place. He has now finished at par or better with three-straight rounds following an even-par 72 in the second round and a 2-under 70 in the final round at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate last week.
Sophomore Myles Lewis added an even-par score of 72 to LSU's team total in Sunday's opening round as he finished the afternoon in a tie for 25th place on the individuals leaderboard. Fellow sophomore Stewart Jolly finished the day in a tie for 69th place overall with his first-round score of 6-over par 78 on Sunday.
Tiger junior Smylie Kaufman opened with a score of 9-over par 81 to finish the day in a tie for 82nd place in an elite field competing at the John Hayt Invitational.
North Florida's Kevin Phelan jumped out to an early four-shot lead in the race for medalist honors after firing an impressive round of 8-under 64 that included one eagle and six birdies on his scorecard. It was four shots clear of four golfers tied for second place at 4-under 68, including North Florida's Sean Dale and Joe Stepnes, Coastal Carolina's Sebastian Soderberg and Central Florida's Ricardo Gouveia.
The Tigers are paired with Coastal Carolina and Tulsa in Monday's second round at the John Hayt Invitational as they will tee off from the front nine beginning at 7:45 a.m. CT. Live scoring of the round will be provided by Golfstat and can be found online at www.golfstat.com.
JOHN HAYT INVITATIONAL - FIRST ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 288)
1. North Florida 276 -12; 2. Duke 282 -6; 3. Central Florida 286 -2; 4. LSU 290 +2; 5. Coastal Carolina 291 +3; T6. Alabama-Birmingham 292 +4; T6. Florida 292 +4; T6. Tulsa 292 +4; T9. Arkansas 293 +5; T9. North Texas 293 +5; 11. Tennessee 294 +6; 12. Jacksonville 295 +7; T13. Furman 301 +13; T13. Mercer 301 +13; 15. Ole Miss 311 +23.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 72)
1. Kevin Phelan, North Florida, 64 -8; T2. Joe Stepnes, North Florida, 68 -4*; T2. Sean Dale, North Florida, 68 -4; T2. Sebastian Soderberg, Coastal Carolina, 68 -4; T2. Ricardo Gouveia, Central Florida, 68 -4; T6. Andrew Presley, LSU, 69 -3; T6. Cyril Suk, Jacksonville, 69 -3; T6. TJ Vogel, Florida, 69 -3; T6. Greg Eason, Central Florida, 69 -3; T10. Thomas Sutton, UAB, 70 -2*; T10. Oliver Gross, Tennessee, 70 -2; T10. MJ Maguire, North Florida, 70 -2; T10. Austin Cody, Duke, 70 -2; T10. Paul Dunne, UAB, 70 -2; T10. Mads Soegaard, Duke, 70 -2; T10. Nicolas Echavarria, Florida, 70 -2*.