KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – Tournament host and 10th-ranked USC Aiken finished the first round of the Sixth Annual Kiawah Island Invitational with a total team tally of 297 to conclude the day tied with USC Beaufort for sixth place.
The two-day Kiawah Island Invitational, which is being hosted by USC Aiken, is being contested at the 6,875 yard, par 72 Cougar Point Golf Course.
Top-ranked Georgia College & State carded a team first round score of three-over-par 291 to lead the event by one stroke as a team entering the second round on Tuesday.
The preseason No. 1 in the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) preseason top 25 poll, GCSU’s team round of 291 bested second place Indianapolis (292) after the first day. North Alabama finished the first day in third place with a team round of 293, while Belmont Abbey and Armstrong Atlantic State both carded team rounds of 296 to sit in a tie for fourth.
Indianapolis’ Seth Fair carded the low round of the day with a 66. The 66 by Fair just missed the tournament low round of 64 carded last year by Coker’s Chris Marsh and USC Aiken’s J.P. Solis (Morelia, Mexico).
Coker’s Diego Polo is four behind Fair in second after posting a first round score of 70. GCSU’s top round of the day was turned in by Billy Shida (71), who currently holds sole possession of third place.
Justin Thompson (North Augusta, S.C.) and Frederik Schulte (Koln, Germany) led the way for the 10th-ranked Pacers on Monday, acquiring a first round score of 73. The 73 tied them with four others for 15th place.
USC Aiken’s Kevin Grady (Woodbine, Md.) is not far behind the Pacer duo at 73, ending his first round with a 74 to commence the second round tied with two others for 21st.
USC Aiken has won the Kiawah Island Invitational three times before, having won the first two editions of the event (2004 and 2005) and last year's team crown (2008). Oklahoma Christian won the event in 2007, while Armstrong Atlantic took home the team championship in 2006.
The second and final round of the 2009 Kiawah Island Invitational is set to get underway at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.