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Wildcats Shoot Season’s Best 296 to Lead Atlantic/East Super Regional After First Round

Copyright 2019; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Keara McCarthy. March 25, 2019 at Ocean City Golf Club-Newport Bay, Berlin, Md.
Copyright 2019; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Keara McCarthy. March 25, 2019 at Ocean City Golf Club-Newport Bay, Berlin, Md.

GREENSVURG, Pa. - - The Wilmington University golf team picked a good time to post their best score of the 2018-19 season, as they sit in first place after the first round of the 2019 NCAA Division II Atlantic/East Super Regional with a 296 (+8), on Thursday morning at the Totteridge Golf Course.

The 296 bested the Wildcats' 297 they scored at the Penmen Spring Invitational on April 19. They are in first place by two strokes after the first round on Thursday, ahead of Southern New Hampshire and Franklin Pierce who posted identical scores of 298 (+10).

The Wildcats were led by Braden McKay's 72, even round score, as he shot out to a two-under score with birdies on the third and fourth holes. He also birdied the par five 12th and the par five 15th to get back to two under par each time, but bogeys on 16 and 18 dropped him back to even par for the round. McKay (at left) shot three-under par on the four par fives on the day, leading the tournament.

Jack Dixon was one-under on the back nine, finishing the round with a 73 (+1) to sit in a tie for eighth overall. Back-to-back bogeys had Dixon at two-over at the turn, but then he birdied the par four 11th, and the par three 14th to get to even par. After a double bogey on 16, Dixon answered with a birdie on the par four 17th and a par on the 18th to finish just one-over par. Dixon was even par for the day on the 10 par four holes.

Ryan Rucinski was the third scorer for the Wildcats, as he posted a round of 74 (+2) for the day, sitting in a tie for 11th overall. He made the turn at one-over par and had his round at one-under par with birdies on 12 and 15, but finished his day three-over on the final three holes to come in with a 74 (+2). Rucinski leads the tournament with McKay on par five scoring, going three-under on the four par fives.

Enrique Valverde was the final scorer for the Wildcats on Thursday, coming in with a 77 (+5) to sit in a tie for 37th overall. He birdied the par four fifth to get to one under but made the turn at two-over par. He birdied the par four 11th to get to three-over par, but two bogeys on the back nine put him at 77 for the day.

Arvy Shongwe completed the Wildcats on the course on Thursday, shooting an 81 (+9). He had 10 pars on the round, but a double bogey on nine put him at five-over at the turn.

Southern New Hampshire's Matt Paradis is the clubhouse leader after the first round, posting a 67 (-5) with eight birdies. Starting on the 10th hole, he shot out to a four-under score halfway through his round, with a double bogey on 11.

The Wildcats' second round will begin on the back nine on Friday, starting with Braden McKay teeing off at 12:50 p.m.