EVANS, Ga.—Playing the back nine at two-under-par, fifth-ranked USC Aiken fired an opening round three-over-par 291 at the 30th annual Administaff Augusta State Invitational on a windy Friday. The only Division II team in the field, the Pacers are seventh, trailing second-ranked Georgia by one stroke while leading in-state powers South Carolina and Clemson by five shots.
The 54-hole event is being contested at the 7,403 yard, par 72 Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans, Ga. and hosted by Augusta State. Champions Retreat offers three unique settings with 27 holes, nine each designed by legends Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player. This event is utilizing the Palmer and Player nines.
Featuring one of the strongest fields of any intercollegiate golf tournament in the nation, the 18-team field includes 14 of the top 50 Division I teams in the country. Georgia is the highest ranked team at number two while #6 UCLA, #7 Georgia Tech, #10 South Carolina, #11 Tennessee, and #12 Clemson give the event six of the nation’s top 12 teams according to Golfstat.com.
Sixth-ranked UCLA leads the pack after opening with a four-under-par 284, two strokes clear of North Carolina (-2) and three in front of Lamar (-1). Seventh-ranked Georgia Tech (E) is in fourth followed by North Carolina State (+1) to round out the top five. The host Augusta State Jaguars (+11) are tied for 14th.