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  • Daniel Hooker

WCU Men’s Golf Completes Day One at SoCon Championship

Western Carolina men’s golf is eighth after the opening round of the 2024 Southern Conference Men’s Golf Championship being contested on the par-72, 7,393-yard Oconee Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee.


Sunday’s round started in less-than-ideal conditions that began early in the morning with each golfer playing a portion of their first round in the rain.


A trio of golfers making their first appearances in the conference champion-crowing event leads the Catamount scoring five. Sophomore Ivan Ninkovic is tied for 20th after an opening-round 2-over par 74, followed by freshmen Jace Butcher (75) in a tie for 22nd and Andrew Korytoski (76) tied for 27th.

Ninkovic countered a pair of bogeys on the back nine with consecutive birdies on the first and second holes after making the turn to stand at even-par with seven holes to play. A double-bogey on his 17th hole of the round relegated him to 2-over for the day. Ninkovic led WCU with 13 pars, tied for the third-most in Sunday’s opening round.

Butcher played the back nine at even-par by countering two bogeys with a pair of birdies. Following a double-bogey on the par-4 second, he was poised to close the round at 2-over before a bogey on his final hole left him at 3-over for the day. His classmate Korytoski carded a team-best four birdies on Sunday including three over his final nine holes after making the turn to the back at 5-over par. His fourth birdie came on his 18th hole to allow move him into the 27th-place tie.

Rounding out WCU’s scoring five are redshirt senior Pablo Hernandez in a tie for 37th with an 8-over par 80 and fifth-year senior Magnus Pedersen in 39th overall at 9-over par 81. Hernandez birdied the first hole of the tournament on Sunday. At 8-over, he shot even-par on the final four holes of the opening round. Pedersen had four bogeys and two double-bogeys over the opening 18 holes.

Led by the individual leader Matthew Dodd-Berry at 7-under-par 65, ETSU sits atop the leaderboard with a nine-stroke lead over second-place Chattanooga following Sunday’s first round of play. The Buccaneers concluded the first round with a team score of 13-under-par 275 while the Mocs finished the day with a 4-under 284 performance.

Chattanooga’s Samuel Espinosa is tied for second on the individual leaderboard alongside defending champion Mats Ege of ETSU at 5-under 67, both trailing Dodd-Berry in the standings.

Paired with golfers from Samford, WCU’s scoring five is scheduled to hit the course on the back nine beginning at 9:50 a.m. The round opens at 9 a.m. off both the first and 10th tees. Live scoring through Golfstat is available through lines at


Keep track of everything related to Catamount men's golf and WCU Athletics through its social media outlets on Facebook (, Instagram (@wcu_catamounts), and Twitter (@catamounts, @CatamountMGolf).


8 – Western Carolina – 305 (+17)

T20 – Ivan Ninkovic – 74 (+2)

T22 – Jace Butcher – 75 (+3)

T27 – Andrew Korytoski – 76 (+4)

T37 – Pablo Hernandez – 80 (+8)

39 – Magnus Pedersen – 81 (+9)


2024 SoCon Men’s Golf Championship

Reynolds Lake Oconee – The Oconee Course

1 – ETSU – 275 (-13)

2 – Chattanooga – 284 (-4)

3 – Furman – 286 (-2)

4 – UNCG – 290 (+2)

5 – Mercer – 296 (+8)

6 – Wofford – 300 (+12)

7 – Samford – 302 (+14)

8 – Western Carolina – 305 (+17)

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