Three Wildcats Sit in the Top 15 After Day One
RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – The Kentucky men’s golf team opened the Puerto Rico Classic with a two-under-par 286 on Sunday. Tyler “Chip” McDaniel, who shot his third sub-70 round of the season during the first round and tied for fourth place, is one of three Wildcats in the top 15 among individuals on the leaderboard. UK will return to the course on Monday with the second round of the three-day tournament.
What Head Coach Brian Craig is Saying:
“Today was a good start to the spring season. I am particularly proud of Chip, Cooper and Stephen for really solid rounds. It is a long event, but we have definitely given ourselves a good start out of the gates. We need to keep focusing on what we can control and playing loose and free golf.”
About the Lineup:
McDaniel stayed even-keeled through the front nine before he blistered the back nine. The junior started the side with a birdie at the par-three 10th hole and crafted a stretch of four pars. He played the remaining four holes at 2-under par to finalize his stellar 3-under-par round, 69. McDaniel finished with just one bogey on the day and has shot even par or better in his last four rounds.
Junior Cooper Musselman finished on McDaniel’s heels in a tie for seventh place after he fired his second consecutive under-par round – fourth of the season. The junior from Louisville, Kentucky, picked up two birdies on both the front and back sides and ultimately shot a 2-under-par 70.
Senior Stephen Stallings is right with McDaniel and Musselman toward the top of the leaderboard. Stallings birdied the fourth, sixth, and eighth holes at the River Course for a 3-under-par 33, but despite struggling on the back nine, he still fired a 1-under-par round and is still in the hunt while tied for 12th place.
Sophomore Lukas Euler finished the first day in a tie for 49th, while classmate Fred Allen Meyer finished in 74th to round out UK’s starting lineup.
The Tournament Field:
No. 10 Georgia, the highest-rated team at the event, leads all teams at 7-under par, but is only five shots ahead of Kentucky who sit in fourth place. NC State is in second place at 5-under par with No. 21 Clemson is in third place at 4-under. The next closest team to Kentucky on the leaderboard is Ohio State in fifth at 1-over par.
About the Course:
Set on the picturesque Caribbean coast, the Puerto Rico Classic is being played at Rio Mar Beach and Spa Resort’s River Course in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Although the tournament began in 1999, this is the second year that Kentucky is competing.
Live stats will be available on BirdieFire. The tournament will be played over three days with the teams playing beginning with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. ET each morning. The 54-hole event will conclude on Tuesday. Teams will be paired based on the results from the first two rounds and will play 18 holes every day.