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  • Daniel Hooker

WCU Men’s Golf Second with 18 Holes to Play at Badger Invitational

Paced by a pair of newcomers inside the individual top 10, the Western Carolina men’s golf team sits in second place just three strokes off the pace after the first of a weather-shortened two-round, season-opening Badger Invitational being held at the par-72, 7,259-yard University Ridge Golf Course.

Rain that forced the cancelation of Sunday’s opening round also limited the golfers to just 18 holes on Monday, shortening the 54-hole event to just 36 total to open the 2022 season.

Thomas, an Australian-born sophomore transfer from Indian Hills Community College, carded a pair of birdies on both the front and back nine to counter a bogey on the par-3 fifth to shoot 3-under par 69. He was joined by teammate Pablo Hernandez, a redshirt junior from Spain, at 3-under as the Missouri Valley College transfer had a much busier opening round, countering four bogeys with five birdies and an eagle on the par-5 ninth for his 69.

Adam Hooker, a graduate transfer from High Point, is tied for 16th overall after shooting 1-under par 71, countering three bogeys with four birdies to shoot 71 in his WCU debut. Rounding out the Catamount scoring five are fifth-year senior Louis Theys in a tie for 37th overall with a 1-over par 73 and senior Magnus Pedersen in a tie for 66th with a 5-over par 77. Theys posted five birdies on Monday and Pedersen charted a pair of birdies and like Hernandez, eagled the ninth.

As a team, the Catamounts lead the 18-team field in par-5 scoring at 15-under par including two of the 10 eagles in the first round.

WCU trails tournament leader Texas A&M by three strokes, 282-to-279, entering Tuesday’s final round. The Illinois State Redbirds sit in third, a stroke behind WCU with Marquette and South Florida tied for fourth with matching scores of 284, five strokes in arrears of the leader to round out the top five.

Marquette’s Max Lyons posted a first-round score of 5-under par 67 to lead a six-way tie for second at 4-under par. WCU’s Hernandez and Thomas are in a seven-way tie for eighth.

The final round is scheduled for Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. CT with tee times starting off both the first and 10th tees. Live scoring through is available online.

2 – Western Carolina – 282 = 282 (-6)

T8 – Ryan Thomas – 69 = 69 (-3)

T8 – Pablo Hernandez – 69 = 69 (-3)

T16 – Adam Hooker – 71 = 71 (-1)

T37 – Louis Theys – 73 = 73 (+1)

T86 – Magnus Pedersen – 77 = 77 (+5)

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