ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Led by a 1-under par 69 by sophomore Curtis Thompson and an even-par 70 by junior Andrew Presley, the 15th-ranked LSU Tigers wrapped up the first round of the Southeastern Conference Men’s Golf Championships in seventh place with a team score of 8-over par 288 in Friday’s opener at Sea Island Golf Club.
Thompson cracked the Top 5 of the leaderboard with his first-round performance as he holed out with a 1-under 69 to finish the day in a seven-way tie for fifth place in the individual standings.
Presley wrapped up the afternoon on the cusp of the Top 10 of the leaderboard as his even-par 70 tied for 12th place among the 70 golfers in the field playing the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club.
The duo paced the Tigers into seventh place in the 14-team field as the team finished the day 13 shots off the pace set by the 19th-ranked Auburn Tigers, who fired a 5-under par 275 as a team to grab an early four-shot lead in the race for the SEC Championship. The 30th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks follow in second place overall after posting a team round of 1-under par 279 on Friday.
Rounding out the top five in the team standings are 13th-ranked Georgia in third place at 1-over 281, second-ranked Alabama in fourth place at 3-over 283 and 21st-ranked Texas A&M in fifth place at 5-over 285.
Thompson carded three birdies and two bogeys on his round to lead the Tigers with a score of 69 in his first career round at the SEC Championships. After making bogey at the par-three third and par-four fifth holes to move to 2-over for the day, Thompson rebounded with back-to-back birdies on the par-five seventh and par-four eighth holes climb back to even-par before making the turn. He then made a birdie at the par-four 13th hole to dip into red figures for the first time at 1-under par en route to a final score of 69 on his scorecard.
Presley was steady on his round as he traded a bogey at the par-four fifth hole with a birdie at the par-three 17th hole to go along with 16 pars for his opening score of even-par 70 at this year’s SEC Championships. He’ll look to improve upon his career-best SEC finish when he tied for 36th place as a freshman in 2011.
Sophomore Stewart Jolly added a 4-over par 74 to tie for 35th place and freshman Zach Wright posted a 5-over 75 for the Tigers to tie for 43rd place for LSU’s team score of 8-over 288 in Friday’s first round.
Sophomore Myles Lewis holed out on the 18th hole with an opening score of 7-over par 77 to finish the day in a tie for 55th place overall on the individual leaderboard.
South Carolina’s Caleb Sturgeon is out to an early one-shot lead in his bid to be crowned the SEC individual champion for 2013 after firing a tournament-low 5-under par 65, which included five birdies and no bogeys for the best score of the day. Auburn’s duo of Niclas Carlsson and Michael Hebert and Georgia’s Nicholas Reach are just one shot off the pace in a tie for second place at 4-under par 66.
The Tigers are paired with Kentucky and Missouri in Saturday’s second round at the 2013 SEC Men’s Golf Championships and will tee off from the first tee beginning at 6:30 a.m. CST. Golfstat will provide live scoring for the second and third rounds of the event through its website at www.golfstat.com.
SEC MEN’S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS – FIRST ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 285)
1. Auburn 275 -5; 2. South Carolina 279 -1; 3. Georgia 281 +1; 4. Alabama 283 +3; 5. Texas A&M 285 +5; 6. Mississippi State 286 +6; 7. LSU 288 +8; 8. Kentucky 291 +11; 9. Missouri 292 +12; 10. Vanderbilt 295 +15; T11. Arkansas 297 +17; T11. Ole Miss 297 +17; 13. Tennessee 299 +19; 14. Florida 301 +21.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS
1. Caleb Sturgeon, South Carolina, 65 -5; T2. Niclas Carlsson, Auburn, 66 -4; T2. Michael Hebert, Auburn, 66 -4; T2. Nicholas Reach, Georgia, 66 -4; T5. Curtis Thompson, LSU, 69 -1; T5. Sebastian Cappelen, Arkansas, 69 -1; T5. Dykes Harbin, South Carolina, 69 -1; T5. Trey Mullinax, Alabama 69 -1; T5. Matthew NeSmtih, South Carolina, 69 -1; T5. Chad Ramey, Mississippi State, 69 -1; T5. Cory Whitsett, Alabama, 69 -1.