After day one of the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Golf Regionals in Columbus, the Charlotte 49ers are atop the leaderboard. The Niners currently sit at +3 and lead #30 South Carolina by one stroke at the Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet course, while Raoul Menard’s first round -4 gives him a one shot lead over two golfers.
Besides the Niners and Gamecocks, rounding out the top five were #8 Stanford (+7), #32 UNLV (+8) and #18 Auburn (+9). #29 Mizzou and #5 New Mexico (+10) are tied for sixth.
Menard carded five birdies, including back-to-back ones on 8 and 9 to close out with a 67. Three other Niners are in the top 25: Brayden Cryderman and Thomas Rowland (+2, T-16) started the front nine off well but struggled the rest of the day. Joe Toland bogeyed three holes on the back nine and finished a shot back at +3. Franco Castro finished at +5 (T-46).
Play continues until Saturday. The top five teams and top individual golfer not on those teams will advance to the NCAA Championships in Atlanta at the end of the month. It’s a place the Niners haven’t been as a team since 2008 (Corey Nagy went as an individual in 2009), and for at least one day, they’re in a position to do so.