The Flames and Patriots finished with 6-under 294 totals. Tennessee Wesleyan holds down third place at 300, while Lindsey Wilson rounds out the top four with a 303.
However, the individual medalist honors on opening day went to Lee senior Jeremy Lawson. The lefty posted an impressive 3-under par 69. “It’s unfortunate that Jeremy was not an official member of our scores which counted today,” said coach John Maupin. “I guess that shows the kind of depth we have on this squad.”
Maupin praised Emery for leading the team scoring. Emery is tied with Cumberlands’ Aaron Watkins for second place honors. JB Eksteen and Hunter Vest posted 74s and are tied for 11th. Caleb Roberson and Tyler Smith rounded out Lee’s scores that counted, each fired 76.
“I feel good about our chances on Friday,” added Maupin. “I think we have a chance to better our 294 total. I would be surprised if a couple of our other players don’t step up on the final 18.”
The final round for the 15 teams and 80 individuals is scheduled to get underway at 9 a.m. and will feature a shotgun start.
The Lee women’s golf team will need to make up three strokes when play begins in the final round of the Bill Sergent Invitational on Friday. The Lady Flames opened with a 316, while host University of the Cumberlands leads at 313.
Sophomore Geandra Almeida paced the Lee golfers with a 5-over par 77 and trails Cumberlands’ Laura Beth Harris. She fired an opening round of 75 to grab the medalist lead. Sloane Skinner holds down third place with a 78, while Courtney Shelton posted a 79. Newcomer Madison Alexander finished with an 82 and Kristin Bourg rounded out the Lee scores with an 87.
“We were fairly consistent the entire day,” said coach John Maupin. “Geandra played well and Sloane was not far behind. I feel like we will pick up a few strokes on Friday. We are still a young team but we gained some valuable experience last season.”
While the Cumberlands and Lee are the pacesetters, Lindsey Wilson is in third place, far back with a 350. Milligan totaled 354 and is in fourth place in the 12-team field.