ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Sophomore All-American Sam Burns continued his red-hot start to the season Friday as he fired a 3-under par 69 with seven birdies and four bogeys on his scorecard at the par-72 Lakeside Course to set the early pace for No. 1-ranked LSU on the opening day of action at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate.
The Tigers wrapped up Friday’s action in 11th place in the 17-team field with a team score of 8-over par 296 to finish 13 shots off the pace set by first-round leader Oklahoma at 5-under par 283.
The Sooners grabbed an early lead in the tournament while firing 5-under par at the neighboring Creekside Course. The Duke Blue Devils, also playing the Creekside Course, was the only other team in the field to drop under par for the day with a team score of 3-under 285 for second place. Virginia was the top team on the Lakeside Course with a score of 1-over 289 for third place overall.
LSU ascended to the top of the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index in its latest release on Thursday afternoon in the wake of its back-to-back victories at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate in Scottsdale, Arizona, and David Toms Intercollegiate at The University Club in Baton Rouge in recent weeks. The Tigers are now eyeing their third-straight tournament championship at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate this weekend.
Burns Breaks Par … Again!
Burns has been on fire to start his sophomore season as his team-leading 3-under 69 in the opening round put him in sole possession of fifth place on the 18-hole leaderboard. He finished the day two shots back of the 5-under 67 by Virginia’s first-round leader Jimmy Stanger. Duke’s Chandler Eaton, Auburn’s Will Long and Oklahoma’s Max McGreevy fired matching 4-under 68s to tie for second place.
Burns has now finished at par or better in nine of his 10 collegiate rounds this season as his 69 on Friday was his sixth round in all in red figures, dropping his scoring average to 69.80 strokes per round this fall.
The Shreveport native bounced back from a difficult start after making consecutive bogeys at the par-four second and par-three third to sit 2-over par after just three holes. His fortunes changed with four birdies from the final five holes on the front nine at the par-four fifth, par-four seventh, par-four eighth and par-five ninth holes to turn at 2-under par for the day.
Burns played the back nine at 1-under par with birdies at Nos. 11, 13 and 18 along with bogeys at Nos. 10 and 15 en route to an opening score of 3-under 69 while playing the Lakeside Course. He is now a cumulative 19-under par in his 10 rounds played so far this season.
The Tigers added counting scores of 2-over par 74 by senior All-American Eric Ricard, 4-over par 76 by sophomore Nathan Jeansonne and 5-over par 77 by senior All-American Brandon Pierce. Ricard finished the day in a tie for 30th place on the leaderboard, followed by Jeansonne in a tie for 63rd place and Pierce in a tie for 70th place.
Sophomore All-American Luis Gagne rounded out LSU’s lineup in a tie for 75th place overall in a field featuring 90 of the premier players in all of college golf with his opening-round 6-over par 78.
Second Round Pairings
The Tigers will next turn their attentions to the Creekside Course as they will again be paired with third-place Virginia and sixth-place Clemson with tee times scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. CT. Tee times for Sunday’s final round will be determined based on the team results after 36 holes of competition. Fans can follow the Tigers in action with Golfstat’s live scoring of the tournament available online at http://www.golfstat.com.
GOLF CLUB OF GEORGIA COLLEGIATE – FIRST ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 288)
1. Oklahoma 283 -5; 2. Duke 285 -3; 3. Virginia 289 +1; T4. Texas 291 +3; T4. Texas A&M 291 +3; 6. Clemson 292 +4; T7. Auburn 293 +5; T7. Oklahoma State 293 +5; T7. Stanford 293 +5; 10. UCLA 295 +7; 11. LSU 296 +8; 12. Georgia Tech 297 +9; T13. Southern California 299 +11; T13. Wake Forest 299 +11; T15. East Tennessee State 300 +12; T15. TCU 300 +12; 17. Villanova 316 +28.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 72)
1. Jimmy Stanger, Virginia, 67 -5; T2. Chandler Eaton, Duke, 68 -4; T2. Max McGreevy, Oklahoma, 68 -4; T2. Will Long, Auburn, 68 -4; 5. Sam Burns, LSU, 69 -3; T6. Franklin Huang, Stanford, 70 -2; T6. Scottie Scheffler, Texas, 70 -2; T8. Jeong Weon Ko, TCU, 71 -1; T8. Ben Reichert, East Tennessee State, 71 -1; T8. Max Greyserman, Duke, 71 -1; T8. Chandler Phillips, Texas A&M, 71 -1; T8. Blaine Hale, Oklahoma, 71 -1; T8. Zach Bauchou, Oklahoma State, 71 -1; T8. Spencer Soosman, UCLA, 71 -1; T8. Doug Ghim, Texas, 71 -1; T8. Tyler Collier, UCLA, 71 -1.