March 15, 2013
Results STATESBORO, Ga. - Justin Thomas
fired an opening-round 67 to take the individual lead and propel the second-ranked Alabama men's golf team into second place with a 6-under-par round of 282 on Friday at the Schenkel Invitational on the par-72, 6,952-yard Forest Heights Country Club.
Texas shot 8-under-par 280 to take the first-round by two shots over the Crimson Tide. Florida is in third place at 3-under-par 285 with Central Florida fourth at 3-over 291. UAB (+4, 292) and Vanderbilt (+4, 292) are tied for fifth.
Thomas, of Goshen, Ky., finished with a 1-shot lead after a closing birdie on the 564-yard, par-5 18th hole. He got off to a blazing starter with four birdies in his opening-six holes and made the turn at 4-under 32. Thomas then birdied the 12th only to turn around and make his only bogey of the day on No. 13 for a 5-under-par total.
There are four players one shot back of Thomas at 4-under-par 68. The group includes a pair of Longhorns, Kramer Hickok and Brandon Stone along with Vanderbilt's Charlie Ewing and UCF's Jose Joia.
Alabama's first round got a big boost over the final three holes from junior Cory Whistett and Bobby Wyatt. The pair birdied both the 16th and 18th holes to finish at 2-under-par 70 in a tie for sixth place.
Redshirt freshman Tom Lovelady was the Tide's final counter toward the team score with a 3-over-par 75. He is tied for 45th. Scott Strohmeyer is tied for 73rd after carding a 6-over 78. Lee Knox played as an individual and shot 74 to tie for 30th after the first round.
Alabama will be paired with Texas and Florida in the second round. The Tide's Scott Strohmeyer will get things started for UA with a 9:30 a.m. tee time off the first tee.
Live scoring of the Schenkel Invitational is available at golfstat.com. Follow breaking news on the Crimson Tide on Facebook at AlabamaMGolf and on Twitter at @AlabamaMGolf.