UNCW Press Release
SOUTHPORT, North Carolina – Freshman Thomas Eldridge fired a 1-under-par 71 – one of just three sub-par rounds on the day – to lead UNCW into second place after the opening round of the 2015 Colonial Athletic Association Men's Golf Championship at sprawling St. James Plantation.
The Seahawks, playing three freshmen, one sophomore and one junior, finished with a 13-over-par total of 301 at the Founders Club course, only eight shots behind frontrunner College of Charleston at 293. James Madison holds down third place with a 302 total and William & Mary stands fourth with a 304 scorecard.
"Today was a true battle of emotions," said seventh-year UNCW Head Coach Matt Clark. "It was the first CAA Tournament for all five of these young men, and it really showed during the start of the round. I'm really proud of the way the guys battled after being 10-over after three holes."
With temperatures in the high 60's and prevailing winds, the nine teams and 44 players tackled difficult pin placements and lightning-fast greens on the first of three days of competition over the Par 72, 6,784-yard layout.
Eldridge, a graduate of Millbrook High School in Raleigh, is tied with the College of Charleston's Josh Lorenzetti for second place on the individual leaderboard. Charleston's John Jonas finished with a 2-under 70 to headline the field. Eldridge fashioned 13 pars, three birdies and two bogeys in his CAA Tournament debut.
"Thomas played a solid round of golf," added Clark. "He has really been working hard and it's fun to see that hard work pay off in competition. We look forward to the challenges and adversity that comes with playing in championship weekends."
Only five players, including Eldridge, shot par or better on the first day. For Friday's 45 rounds, the average score was 78.47.
The teams tee off at 8 a.m. Saturday for the second round of the event, which has been staged since 1984. UNCW has won the CAA Championship five times (2004, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013).
First-Round CAA Chip-Ins: The Seahawks led the field with a 4-under score on Par 5 holes for the day…David Kostyal went 3-under and Patrick finished 2-under on Par 5's…The Seahawks tied for second with 14 birdies…The Seahawks will play with College of Charleston and James Madison during Saturday's second round…Freshman Ross Robison had one of the tournament's two eagles on the day, carding a deuce on the Par 4, 257-yard sixth hole…David Kostyal paced the Seahawks with four birdies.
CAA Men's Golf Championships | First Day Results – April 24, 2015
Team Standings: 1. College of Charleston, 293; 2. UNCW, 301; 3. James Madison, 302; 4. William & Mary, 304; 5. Delaware, 306; 6. Towson, 311; 7. Elon 312; 8. Drexel, 313; 9. Hofstra, 344.
Individual Standings (Top 10): 1. John Jonas, College of Charleston, 70; T2. Thomas Eldridge, UNCW, 71; T2. Josh Lorenzetti, College of Charleston, 71; T4. Blaine Lafferty, Delaware, 72; T4. Austin Morrison, William & Mary, 72; 6. Kyle Martin, Delaware, 73; 7. Jon Weiss, James Madison, 74; T8. David Kostyal, UNCW, 75; T8. Jimmy Grem, Towson, 75; T8. Trey Smith, James Madison, 75.