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  • Daniel Hooker

WCU Men’s Golf Second After 18 Holes at Peoples Golf Championship

Fifth-year senior Magnus Pedersen and sophomore transfer Ivan Ninkovic led Western Carolina’s scoring five inside the individual top 10 after Thursday’s opening 18 holes at the Peoples Golf Championship at Sea Palms Resort, guiding the Catamounts to a second-place tie after day one at the par-71, 6,664-yard course.


Pedersen is in the clubhouse in a three-way tie for fifth after shooting 3-under par 68, while Ninkovic is a stroke back at 2-under par 69, tied with eight others for eighth place after 18 holes.


The second round opens on Friday morning with set tee times off both the front and back nine beginning at 8 a.m. Live scoring through Leaderboard King is available online through a link at


Pedersen countered a trio of bogeys with six birdies including three aside in firing his 3-under par opening round to lead the Catamounts. Ninkovic charted a pair of birdies and an eagle on the par-5, 484-yard No. 4 to counteract two bogeys in shooting 2-under par 69.


Rounding out the Catamount scoring five are freshman Jace Butcher in a tie for 23rd at even-par 72, with redshirt senior Pablo Hernandez in a tie for 37th at 1-over par 72, and freshman Andrew Korytoski tied for 103rd at 7-over par 78. Butcher carded three birdies and three bogeys in his even round, while Hernandez played the front nine even-par and countered three bogeys and one double with four birdies on a busy back nine to finish at 1-over par. Korytoski posted four birdies, but a costly quadruple bogey on the par-3 third impacted his day as one of six blemishes on his scorecard.


Western Carolina’s four individuals each had solid opening rounds as sophomore Kiefer Bulau and freshman Michael Bevins matched Butcher in a tie for 23rd at even-par 71, while freshman Dalton Payne was 3-over par at 74, tied for 56th. Redshirt sophomore Josh Lendach was a stroke back with a 4-over par 75 in a tie for 76th overall.


Defending tournament champion Davidson carries a six-stroke lead over the second-place tie between host WCU and Xavier into Friday’s second round. The Wildcats tied for the sixth-best team round in tournament history by carding an opening-round 274 with the Catamounts and Musketeers in the clubhouse after firing 280 as a team. Drexel is a stroke in arrears of the two-way tie for the runner-up spot in fourth at 281, with Belmont rounding out the top five in fifth at 283.


Shane Ochs of Wright State matched the fourth-best round in tournament history with a 6-under par 65 on Thursday to lead the 128-gofler field. Davidson’s Joshua Stewart is in the runner-up spot a stroke in arrears at 5-under par 66, with Alex Heffner of Davidson and Tennessee Tech’s Jackson Skeen tied for third atop the podium at 4-under par 67.


Tournament play continues with the second 18 holes on Friday morning with live scoring available online. The 54-hole event concludes Saturday with the third and final round from the Sea Palms Resort.



T2 – Western Carolina – 280 (-4)

T5 – Magnus Pedersen – 68 (-3)

T8 – Ivan Ninkovic – 69 (-2)

T23 – Jace Butcher – 71 (E)

T37 – Pablo Hernandez – 72 (+1)

T103 – Andrew Korytoski – 78 (+7)

T23 – Michael Bevins (ind.) – 71 (E)

T23 – Kiefer Bulau (ind.) – 71 (E)

T56 – Dalton Payne (ind.) – 74 (+3)

T76 – Josh Lendach (ind.) – 75 (+4)

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