By Lance Ringler, Golfweek
Starting on the back 9, Charlotte quickly got to 7-under after just a few holes and remained atop the leaderboard throughout the opening round at the Columbus Regional. The 49ers lead the No. 23 South Carolina Gamecocks by a single shot and are four clear of No. 10 Stanford.
Charlotte, the No. 12 seed, was led by Raoul Menard, who posted a 4-under 67 to lead individually by a shot over UNLV’s Carl Jonson and South Carolina’s Will Starke. Menard managed to post six birdies on the demanding 7,286-yard, par-71 Scarlet Golf Course layout at Ohio State to finish at 4-under 67.
“We got off to a great start,” Charlotte head coach Ryan Cabbage said. “In dealing with an event like this, it’s hard to be in position on Saturday without putting yourself in position on Thursday. Teams can do it, but it’s better to do from the start. It’s round one, though. We finished phase one today and phase two tomorrow is all that can we can focus on.”
The 49ers were a bubble team late in the spring season, but earned a postseason spot after winning the Atlantic-10 Conference title and being awarded the league’s automatic qualifying spot. Charlotte has not beaten a top 25 team this season.