Feb. 20, 2011
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico – James White and Richard Werenski each shot 3-under-par 69 Sunday, as all five Georgia Tech players shot under par and lifted the 5th-ranked Yellow Jackets to a 3-shot lead after the first round of the Puerto Rico Classic golf tournament.
John-Tyler Griffin and Kyle Scott each shot 2-under-par 70, and Paul Haley added a 71 as the Jackets posted a 10-under-par team total of 278, three strokes better than 4th-ranked Alabama (7-under 281) and five ahead of No. 2 Oklahoma State (5-under 283). Virginia Tech was fourth at 2-under 286, and Oklahoma fifth at 1-under 287.
The Yellow Jackets led by as many as six shots Sunday before giving a couple of shots back to par late in the round. The remaining teams in the 15-team field shot par or higher. NC State, Georgia, Northwestern, Purdue and Clemson rounded out the top 10.
“A good start for us today,” said head coach Bruce Heppler. “It is apparent that the strength of our team is the depth of our lineup. We had all five guys under par for most of day. It’s always positive when the kick out score is under par. We will need that type of play for two more days.”
White, a junior from Acworth, Ga., who has finished in the top 1o individually in three straight events, played his first four holes at level par, then recorded five birdies and two bogeys over his last 14 holes for his 69. Werenski, a freshman from South Hadley, Mass., played a steady round with four birdies and one bogey en route to the same score.
They are in a group of eight players tied for the lead individually – along with Virginia Tech’s Marshall Bailey, Alabama’s Bud Cauley and Bobby Wyatt, East Tennessee State’s Spencer Lawson, Ohio State’s Brad Smith and Oklahoma State’s Kevin Tway.
Griffin and Scott are tied for ninth with four others, one shot back, while Haley is part of a 13-player logham tied for 15th. Griffin’s round was a wild ride, including seven birdies, three bogeys and a double bogeys.
The Yellow Jackets, playing in Puerto Rico for the 18th consecutive year, are looking for their fifth win in the event. The second round begins with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. Monday, with the final 18 holes set for Tuesday.
PUERTO RICO CLASSICRio Mar Country Club, River Course, Rio Grande, Puerto RicoFirst-Round Results
TEAM STANDINGS Georgia Tech 278 (-10) Alabama 281 Oklahoma State 283 Virginia Tech 286 Oklahoma 287 NC State 288 Georgia 289 Northwestern 289 Purdue 289 Clemson 290 Texas 292 East Tenn. St. 294 UNCG 294 Ohio State 295 Michigan 300
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS James White, Georgia Tech 69 (-3) Richard Werenski, Georgia Tech 69 Marshall Bailey, Virginia Tech 69 Bud Cauley, Alabama 69 Spencer Lawson, ETSU 69 Brad Smith, Ohio State 69 Kevin Tway, Oklahoma State 69 Bobby Wyatt, Alabama 69 John-Tyler Griffin, Georgia Tech 70 Kyle Scott, Georgia Tech 70 Garland Green, Virginia Tech 70 Nicholas Losole, Northwestern 70 Riley Pumphrey, Oklahoma 70 Ryan Sirman, Oklahoma 70 Paul Haley, Georgia Tech 71 12 others tied at 71