HUMBLE, Texas – The University of Houston Men’s Golf program stood in a tie for first with No. 10 Auburn following the First Round of the All-American Intercollegiate on Friday afternoon at Golf Club of Houston.
The Cougars posted a team score of 14-under 274 with four student-athletes firing rounds in the 60s on the 7,067-yard, par-72 course.
Senior and 2017 All-American Athletic Conference performer Papito Gonzalez led the way with six birdies on the way to a 67 to tie for second. Senior and 2017 American Athletic Conference Championships medalist Michael Perras, sophomore George Gardner and junior Matt Williams were tied for 11th with 69s.
Gonzalez closed out his front nine Friday in impressive fashion. After making par on two first two holes, the McAllen, Texas, native made birdie on the par-4 third hole. Following a par on No. 4, Gonzalez sank back-to-back birdies on Nos. 5-6 and did it again on Nos. 8-9.
Although he opened his back nine with a bogey, he rallied with his final birdie on No. 13 before closing the round with five straight pars. Gonzalez joined North Texas’ Thomas Rosenmueller and Mississippi’s Josh Seiple in a tie for second, two strokes behind First-Round leader Brandon Mancheno of Auburn.
Perras opened his day with two birdies on his first four holes and added another birdie on No. 8. Although he suffered two bogeys in a three-hole stretch to end his front nine and start his back nine, the Deer Park, Texas, native rallied with three birdies in a five-hole stretch midway through his back nine.
Gardner overcame a bogey on No. 5 with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 7-8 and followed that with back-to-back birdies again on Nos. 15-16. After an impressive effort during the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic in November to close the fall season, Gardner has now fired four straight rounds in the 60s.
Williams finished with five birdies in Friday’s round. Although he endured two bogeys through his first six holes, the Calgary, Alberta, native rallied with three birdies on his back nine.
Competing as an individual, freshman Alexander Frances was tied for 31st at 71. The Stege, Denmark, native enjoyed four birdies in his round.
No. 48 Mississippi posted a score of 276 and was in third after the first day, while No. 3 Baylor (279), No. 30 South Carolina (281), South Alabama (281) and North Texas (281) rounded out the top-seven leaders.
Fans can follow live scoring from the All-American Intercollegiate by visiting Golfstat.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
Saturday’s Second Round begins with an 8:30 a.m., split-tee start. Admission is free, and all are invited to attend.
The Cougars will compete in groups with student-athletes from Auburn and Mississippi beginning at 9:50 a.m., off No. 1. Beshoory starts the day at 9:50 a.m., with Williams (9:58 a.m.), Gardner (10:06 a.m.), Perras (10:14 a.m.) and Gonzalez (10:22 a.m.) following.
Frances begins the Cougars’ individual play at 10:30 a.m., off No. 1 with Tracy (10:38 a.m.), Gil (10:38 a.m.) and De Bondt (10:30 a.m., off No. 10) following.
ALL-AMERICAN INTERCOLLEGIATE HISTORY
For years, the All-American Intercollegiate ranked as one of the nation's premier collegiate tournaments, featuring some of the country's top student-athletes and teams.
The tournament was played every season from 1955 to 1990. After a one-year break in 1992, the tournament picked up and was played again from 1992 to 1997. The All-American Intercollegiate resumed in 2006 and was played each season through the 2008-09 campaign
This marks the third straight season in which the Cougars have hosted this tournament. A year ago, Baylor captured the team title with a score of 28-under 836 to finish five shots ahead of Vanderbilt. Baylor’s Cooper Dossey earned medalist honors with a score of 10-under 206 to finish three shots in front of five golfers.
The Cougars lead the way in their tournament with 23 team titles and 20 individual championships during its history
Following the All-American Intercollegiate, the Cougars return to action when they play host to the Querencia Cabo Collegiate on March 4-6 at Querencia Golf Club in San Jose, Cabo, Mexico.
From there, Houston will host the Border Olympics on March 9-10 at Laredo Country Club in Laredo, Texas.
Fans can receive updates by following @UHCougarMGolf on Twitter and catch up with the latest news and notes on the team by clicking LIKE on the team's Facebook page at HoustonCougarGolf. Fans also can follow the team on Instagram at uhcougarmgolf.