On the actual opening day, a freshman led the West Virginia University golf team through two rounds at The Old Town Club Collegiate Invitational in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Making his collegiate debut, freshman Kurtis Grant birdied three of his first nine holes to shoot one-under-par with a 69 in the first round. He went on to birdie four more in his second round, matching his first-round score of a 69 to shoot a 138 for two under on the day. Grant is tied for 16th place to lead the Mountaineers.
WVU coach Sean Covich said the guys “fought hard today.”
“Max Sear and Etienne Papineau fought back from rough starts early to post some solid numbers,” Covich said. “Kurtis had a great first day of college golf, and it’s encouraging to see that out of a true freshman. I’m looking forward to tomorrow with these guys competing hard.”
Senior Max Sear bounced back with three birdies across the final 18 holes to shoot one under with a 69 after shooting two-over-par with a 72 in the first round. Sear moved 14 spots up the leaderboard with a 36-hole total of 141 and is tied for 34th place.
Sophomore Matthew Sharpstene secured a score of 70-73= 143. He is three over par and in a tie for 43rd place with junior Etienne Papineau, who also finished 71-72= 143 on the day.
Sophomore Mark Goetz struggled in the second round with a score of 75 for five over after shooting a one-under-par 69 in the first round. He is tied for 49th place with a two-round score of 144 for four-over-par.
The Mountaineers are in 10th place after shooting 279-283=562 as a team to finish three over.
Host Wake Forest leads the field at 23-under-par with a 537, followed by Louisville in second at 19 under (541).
This season marks WVU’s first time at the tournament. The Mountaineers were scheduled to open the season at the VCU Invitational in Richmond, Virginia but was canceled due to Hurricane Florence. It also marks the second consecutive season that West Virginia’s season opener was cancelled due to a hurricane. The 2017-18 opener, The Invitational at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island in South Carolina, was canceled due to Hurricane Irma.
WVU will tee off in the third and final round on Tuesday. The Mountaineers are paired with Virginia Tech and Loyola (Md.).