AUGUSTA, Ga. – University of Houston Men’s Golf sophomores George Gardner and Zach Tracy stood among the Top-10 leaders following the first day at the 3M Augusta Invitational at Forest Hills Golf Club.
Competing on the 7,005-yard, par-72 layout, Gardner opened the tournament with a 69 in Saturday’s morning round and was tied for fourth at 3-under- 141. Tracy posted a 69 in the afternoon session and was tied for 10th at 142.
Starting on No. 9, Gardner posted a bogey and nine pars through his first 10 holes before enjoying a strong finish. The Southlake, Texas, native made the first of four birdies on No. 2 and added another birdie on No. 4.
Gardner then closed the First Round with back-to-back birdies for a 69. He added an even-par 72, thanks to a pair of birdies, in the afternoon round.
After posting a 73 in Saturday’s First Round, Tracy drained a team-high six birdies in the afternoon session. Starting on No. 9, the Houston native posted back-to-back birdies on Nos. 13-14 and overcame a bogey on No. 16 with another birdie on the par-5 17th hole.
Despite a bogey on No. 1, Tracy rallied with birdies on No. 2, No. 4 and No. 6 for a 69 of his own.
As a team, the Cougars opened the tournament with a 3-under 285 and stood in fourth at 574.
No. 13 Illinois held the first-day day lead at 564 with Tennessee (570) and No. 28 Wake Forest (572). Following the Cougars, Georgia State (576), No. 38 South Carolina (576), Kennesaw State (577), No. 21 UCLA (579), No. 9 (Division II) South Carolina-Aiken (579) and host Augusta (579) rounded out the top-10 leaders.
No. 45 Dylan Meyer of Illinois held the individual lead at 8-under 136 to finish the first day two strokes head of Tennesee’s Lorenzo Scalise. Rhys Nevin-Wharton of Tennessee stood in third at 140.
Fans can follow live scoring at the 3M Augusta Invitational by visiting Golfstat.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
For Sunday’s Final Round, the Cougars will compete in groups with student-athletes from Georgia State and South Carolina.
Williams will begin the day at 8:20 a.m. (CDT) Sunday off No. 1 with Frances (8:30 a.m.), Perras (8:40 a.m.), Tracy (8:50 a.m.) and Gardner (9 a.m.) following.
Dismuke recently announced that sophomores Sam Elkington, Pryce Beshoory and Tony Gil and redshirt freshman Andrew Gibson would compete as individuals at the Bearkat Invitational, hosted by Sam Houston State beginning Monday morning at Walden Lake Conroe.
Following the 3M Augusta Invitational, the Cougars will compete as a team in their regular-season finale at the Aggie Invitational at Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas, on April 7-8.
From there, Houston takes its first step into the postseason when it tees off at the American Athletic Conference Championships on April 22-24 on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Fla.
Perras looks to defend his American Athletic Conference Championships individual title from a year ago. With that championship, he became the first Cougar in program history to win NCAA Regional and conference championships titles during his career.
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