DANIELS, W.Va. - - The back-nine did not play as nice as the front nine for the Wilmington University golf team in the first round of the NCAA Division II Atlantic/East Super Regional, but the Wildcats are still in good shape after a 304 (+16) on Monday, sitting in a tie for fifth overall at The Resort at Glade Springs Cobb Course.
As a team, the Wildcats were two-over par through the first nine holes on Monday, but the back nine proved to play a little tougher as the Wildcats came in. They finished with a 304 (+16) and in a tie for fifth place with Le Moyne. They are only six shots off the leaders from Mercyhurst (298). Dominican (300), St. Thomas Aquinas (301), and California (302) round out the Top 5.
Sophomore Ryan Rucinski paced the Wildcats on Monday, shooting a 73 (+1) in the opening round. His only hiccups came on holes nine and 18, as he birdied the par-five second hole. He made the turn at 36, even par. Rucinski then converted eight straight pars on the back nine before bogeying the par-five 18th to finish the round. He is in a tie for sixth overall with his 73.
Junior Zac Moore led the Wildcats with two birdies on Monday, getting to one-under par with a birdie on the par-four fourth. But back-to-back bogey forced the junior into a 37 (+1) at the turn. Moore birdied the par-four 10th to get back to even par, but a bogey-double bogey on 15 and 16 brought him in with a 75 (+3). He is in a tie for 16th overall.
Senior Sam Clark had the best front nine of the Wildcats, sinking a birdie on the par-five second and then rattling off seven straight pars to make the turn with a 35 (-1). But a double bogey on 10 started a spurred a downhill back nine. Clark collected five bogeys plus the double bogey for a 43 (+7) on the back, finishing with a 78 (+6) for the day. He is in a tie for 42nd overall.
Senior Miguel Siercke is tied with lark in a tie for 42nd overall with the 78 (+6), rounding out the Wildcats scoring. Siercke birdied the par-five fifth to get to one-under, but then bogeyed the next three holes for a 38 (+2) front nine. He also doubled the par-four 10th, but collected six pars on the back to finish with a 78 (+6).
Freshman Braden McKay rounded the Wildcats on the course, birdieing the par-four ninth to get down to two-under par at the turn. The freshman finished the round with five bogeys and a double-bogey on the 16th hole to come in at 81 (+9). He is in a tie for 80th overall after the first round.
Mercyhurst's Chris Kupniewski and Dominican's Hunter Wescott lead the field by each shooting a 69 (-3). Kupniewski hit four birdies on the back nine, including the final three holes to shoot into the lead. Starting on the back-nine, Wescott made the turn at one-under and then hit birdies on the second and eighth holes.
The Wildcats will now be one of the first teams out of the gates on Tuesday, as they will begin teeing off from the 10th tee box at 8:20 a.m.
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