• Daniel Hooker

Catamount Men’s Golf Seventh After 18 Holes at the Carolina Cup

Junior transfer Pablo Hernandez fired a team-best, 1-under par opening round 71 on Sunday to lead Western Carolina to seventh place after 18 holes at The Carolina Cup, co-hosted by USC Upstate and Wofford at the par-72, 6,929-yard Carolina Country Club. The Catamounts posted an opening-round score of 2-over par 290 to sit eight strokes off the pace entering Monday’s second round.

Hernandez sits in a tie for 17th overall with three other golfers. A product of Madrid, Spain, Hernandez countered a pair of bogeys on the front nine with three birdies to make the turn to the back nine at 1-under par. A third bogey on the par-4 11th left him at even-par before he carded an eagle on the par-5 13th to move to 2-under par. The rally was short-lived, though, as a double-bogey on the par-4 14th returned him to even-par until a birdie on the final hold of the first round left him at 71.

Senior Magnus Pedersen is a stroke in arrears after an even-par round of 72 in a five-way tie for 21st-place overall. Pedersen made the turn from the front at 3-over par after charting four bogeys and one birdie. The Moss, Norway, native had six pars and three birdies on the back nine to return to even-par on the final hole of the round.

Rounding out the Catamount scoring side is sophomore transfer Ryan Thomas, a stroke back at 73 in a tie for 26th overall with fifth year senior Louis Theys in a tie for 34th at 74 and senior Adam Hooker tied for 40th at 75. Thomas finished with three birdies against four bogeys, shooting 1-under on the back nine on Sunday. Theys was poised to shoot even-par in the first round, countering a trio of bogeys with three birdies until a double-bogey on the par-4 17th, while Hooker shot 3-over with four bogeys, a double-bogey, and three birdies.

Collectively as a team, the Catamounts pace the field in par-5 scoring at 13-under par (4.35).

Playing unattached as an individual, Josh Lendach posted a first-round score of 75, tied for 53rd overall, overcoming four bogeys and three double-bogeys with a birdie and a pair of eagles coming on the par-5, 514-yard 13th and the par-5, 515-yard 18th. With his pair of eagles, Lendach is tied with one other for the most in the field.

SoCon-foe Mercer leads the 14-team field after 18 holes, carding a first-round, 6-under par 282 to carry a three-stroke lead over a three-way tie for second between UCF, Lipscomb, and Connecticut at 285. Jacksonville rounds out the top five at 287.

Jared Nelson of Connecticut posted an opening-round 8-under par 64 and has a three-stroke lead over a three-way tie for the runner-up spot between Gregor McKenzie of Connecticut, Juan Camilo Vesga of Lipscomb, and Mercer’s Gustav Sjoberg. The trio in second each shot 5-under par 67.

Round two gets underway at 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning with tee times off of the first tee box. Paired with golfers from Wofford and Mercer, WCU’s scoring five hits the course beginning at 10:42 a.m. Live scoring is available online through GolfStat with live streaming coverage through GameKast.

7 – Western Carolina – 290 = 290 (+2)

T17 – Pablo Hernandez – 71 = 71 (-1)

T21 – Magnus Pedersen – 72 = 72 (E)

T26 – Ryan Thomas – 73 = 73 (+1)

T34 – Louis Theys – 74 = 74 (+2)

T40 – Adam Hooker – 75 = 75 (+3)

T53 – Josh Lendach (ind.) – 77 = 77 (+5)

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