April 22, 2013
McKINNEY - Senior Erik Knudsen opened the 2013 Southland Conference Tournament with a 2-over-par 74 on Monday at Stonebridge Ranch Country Club to help the Lamar University men's golf team to a third place finish through the first round of action.
The Cardinals, who are looking to win their second straight conference title and 25th overall, stand eight strokes behind tournament leader Central Arkansas after 18 holes. The three-day, 54-hole event will continue Tuesday morning on the par-72, 7,346-yard Pete Dye layout.
The only player returning off last year's Southland Conference championship team, Knudsen stands in a tie for third place after one round. Knudsen made the turn at even-par after one birdie and one bogey on the outward nine, before carding seven pars and a pair of bogeys on his way in.
Lamar posted a team total of 19-over-par 307 on Monday, 19 strokes behind the pace it set last year in winning the tournament. UCA leads the eight-team field with an 11-over-par 299 and Southeastern Louisiana is second at 13-over-par 301.
The Cardinals have a six stroke lead on fourth place Stephen F. Austin which registered a 25-over-par 313. Conference newcomer Oral Roberts is fifth at 317, with Sam Houston State (319), Nicholls (322) and McNeese State (325) rounding out the field.
Freshman Greg Wiggins is tied for 10th place in the 40-man field after carding a 77 in his first conference tournament. Wiggins was playing well at 2-over through 15 holes, but stumbled coming home with a bogey and double bogey on back-to-back holes to finish at 5-over.
UCA's James Newton was the only player to finish the first day under par and will take a three shot lead into round 2. Newton posted a 2-under-par 70 which included five birdies and an eagle. SLU's Rhys West stands at 1-over-par with Knudsen and two other players tied for third.
Senior Stephane Dubois and sophomore Gustaf Burenstam are tied for 14th as Lamar is one of just two teams (SLU) with its top four golfers inside the top 15. Dubois' opening round 78 (+6) included two birdies and four bogeys. Unfortunately, the Wisconsin transfer also took double bogeys on both of the front nine par-3s.
Burenstam shot a 40 on the opening half, but a birdie on the par-4 10th hole got him back to 3-over-par. He would post a run of six straight pars but took a triple bogey on the par-3 17th hole to fall to 6-over and settle for a 78.
Lamar's final golfer is senior Marc Dobias who stands tied for 24th after an opening-round 80 (+8). The VCU transfer managed just one birdie on the day against five bogeys and a pair of double bogeys.