It’s back! College golf made a triumphant return Monday at The Blessings Golf Club just outside of Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Blessings is playing host to all 28 men’s and women’s SEC golf teams with four champions being crowned following the conclusion of play Wednesday, October 7.
On the team side of things, the Tennessee men and Arkansas women lead the way. For the Volunteer’s, redshirt senior Hunter Wolcott took over. Posting a 4-under 68, Wolcott takes a solo lead through 18 holes. One of the better shots of the day for Wolcott came on the par-3 8th. Hitting wedge into the 130 yard cliff framed green, the Volunteer nearly jarred his tee shot for an ace.
Settling for a tap-in birdie, Wolcott split the round 35/33 to take a one shot lead into tomorrow’s second round over Kentucky’s Alex Goff and fellow Volunteer Bryce Lewis.
For the ladies, home course advantage proved true on Monday. Host Arkansas was led by Brooke Matthews whose 67 is good for a share of the lead alongside LSU’s Ingrid Lindbland at five under par.
The Lady Razorbacks have a four shot lead over LSU and the rest of the field after carding a total team round of 1-over 289.
As for Lindbland, she was given the highest honor an LSU student-athlete can obtain; a comparison to 2019 Heisman Trophy winner and the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Joe Burrow.
During a mid-round interview LSU women’s head coach Garrett Runion told Golf Channel that Lindbland is “our Joe Burrow.” Living up to the comparison, at least for the day, Lindbland begins Tuesday in search of birdies to separate herself from Matthews while also chasing down the Razorbacks team. The Tigers lurk just four shots back of Arkansas.
U.S. Amateur medalist Davis Thompson put together a solid first round until No. 16 where he and teammate Will Chandler played each other’s balls thus drawing a penalty on both players. Thompson and Chandler both took double bogeys on the par-4. Thompson currently sits in a tie for 19th at one over par; Chandler shot an 82 and was not a counting scorer for Georgia.
The mishap highlights a difference in how college tournaments are being conducted in the age of COVID-19. Normally each member of a team is paired with players from other teams, but as a safety precaution, members of the same team are playing together (meaning a lot of golf balls with the same logo on them are in play at once).
Other men’s notables: Sam Bennett, Texas A&M (T-11,-1); John Augenstein, Vanderbilt (T-19, +1), Julian Perico, Arkansas (T-27, +2); Ricky Castillo, Florida (T-43, +5).
Other women’s notables: Caterina Don, Georgia (T-6, E); Lois Kaye Go, South Carolina (T-11, +2); Kenzie Wright, Alabama (T-20, +3); Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, South Carolina (T-36, +6).
ABOUT THE Blessings Intercollegiate
Debuting in 2020, the Blessings Collegiate Invitational
features men’s and women’s teams competing in a 54-
hole stroke play format for individual and team honors.
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