The Wildcats - ranked in the top 10 all season in NCAA Division II men's golf - shot a first-round 304 (16-over-par) at the Jefferson City Country Club and will enter Tuesday's second round 18 shots behind tournament-leading Central Missouri. The Mules shot a first-round 2-under-par 286 to grab the early advantage on the rest of the 20-team field.
Just as they did two weeks ago at the Lone Star Conference Tournament, the Wildcats got off to another poor start during Monday's first round. Two weeks ago at the LSC Tournament the Wildcats were 14-over-par after the first 18 before rallying to shoot 14-under-par in the second round to get back into contention.
ACU finds itself in need of another round like that second-round 274 if the Wildcats want to make it back to the NCAA Division II national tournament.
The top five teams and the top two individuals not with a team from each regional (regardless of region) will advance to the national championship tournament, which will be played May 15-19, at The Cardinal Club in Simpsonville, Ky., as part of the 2012 NCAA Division II Spring Championships Festival. The Festival will be hosted by Bellarmine University the Louisville Sports Commission.
LSC Freshman of the Year, Corbin Renner, put together ACU's best round of the day by shooting a 2-over-par 74 and leaving himself tied for 19th overall. Renner double-bogeyed his third hole (No. 12) before a birdie on his eighth hole (No. 17). he then bogeyed No. 3 on his back nine to finish at 2-over-par.
Kyle Dickerson also put together a solid round at 3-over-par 75 with five bogeys, two birdies and 11 pars to finish the first day tied for 28th.
ACU's No. 1 player, Alex Carpenter bogeyed each of the first five holes he played before a birdie on his sixth hole (hole No. 15 on the course). He then bogeyed No. 8 and had seven pars, one birdie and one bogey on his back nine to finish at 5-over-par 77 and in a tie for 61st.
ACU's No. 2 player, Trey Sullivan, had a rough day, shooting a 9-over-par 81. He had two bogeys and one double-bogey on the front nine before carding three bogeys and one double-bogey on the back.
Freshman Luke Carpenter also struggled to a 6-over-par 78. He started his day with a double-bogey and then had five other bogeys on the front nine. He righted the ship on the back nine, however, with eight pars and one birdie and is tied for 78th overall.