PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Rutgers men’s golf is tenth with a 310 team total after day one of the American Athletic Conference Championship, played Sunday on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Beach Resort and Golf Club. Sophomore Jonathan Chang (Valencia, Calif.) paced the Scarlet Knights through the initial 18 holes, carding a 76 to enter Monday’s second round tied for 33rd in the 50-player field.
Freshman Michael Howe (Temecula, Calif.) is also among the top 40 competitors on the par-71, 7,125-yard course. He shot 77 and is tied for 38th.
Seniors Doug Walters (Blairstown, N.J.) and Jonathan Renza (Cortland Manor, N.Y.) and sophomore Louis Bodine (Flemington, N.J.) comprise the rest of RU’s competing five at the highly-competitive event. Walters is tied for 41st with a 78, Renza is tied for 44th with a 79 and Bodine is tied for 47th with an 81.
No. 7-ranked and top-seeded UCF leads with a one-under par 283. The Knights placed three players in the top-10 on Sunday as Linus Vaisanen carded a four-under 67, Ricardo Gouveia posted a one-under 70 and Greg Eason finished one-over 72. UCF has a four-shot lead over No. 31 SMU (287) and a seven-shot advantage over No. 30 USF (290). No. 9 Houston and Cincinnati are tied for fourth at eight-over 292.
Vaisanen is tops on the leaderboard, while Gouveia and SMU's Bryson Dechambeau and Austin Smotherman are tied for second at one-under 70. Houston's Kyle Pilgrim is fifth at even-par 71.
The American Men's Golf Championship continues on Monday and will conclude on Tuesday. Live scoring can be found at www.golfstat.com.