EATONTON, Ga. – The No. 3 Alabama men's golf team opened with a 4-under-par round of 284 to earn a share of the lead after the first round of the Linger Longer Invitational at the 7,073-yard, par-72 Great Waters Course at Reynolds Plantation.
True freshman Cory Whitsett roared to the head of the field in Sunday's opening round with an 8-under-par 64. He has a five stroke lead over five players tied for second at 3-under 69. Whitsett carded an amazing seven birdies on the front nine – including five straight to open the round – for a 29. He made three more birdies and two bogeys on the back nine to miss the UA scoring record by one shot.
Whitsett's 64 is a career best for the Houston, Texas, native. It matches the second-lowest single-round score in school history and is the second 64 by a Tide freshman this year, matching Bobby Wyatt's 6-under 64 at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate. Bud Cauley also shot 64 in the opening round of the 2010 Linger Longer Invitational.
Chattanooga equaled Alabama's opening-round 284 to share the lead while 15th-ranked Stanford is in third place at 1-over par 289. Co-host Kennesaw State and No. 13 Georgia are tied for fourth place at 3-over 291.
Cauley and freshman Trey Mullinax both carded even-par rounds of 72 on Sunday and are tied for ninth place heading into Monday's second round.
Junior Hunter Hamrick shot a 76 (+4) for the Tide's final counting score of the day and is tied for 37th position. Sophomore Lee Knox, who replaced an injured Bobby Wyatt in the lineup, finished at 9-over-par 81 and did not count toward Alabama's team score.
Junior Hunter Slatton, a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., also made the trip to Georgia with the Crimson Tide to play as an individual. He carded a 6-over 78 and is tied for 56th.