ASU linksters hold first round leads in SWAC Championship

ALEXANDRIA, La. (– The Alabama State women’s and men’s golf teams are in first place after day one of the 2016 SWAC Golf Championships.

The three-time defending champion Lady Hornets placed all five players in the top eight in shooting 10-over par 298 after day one of the 36-hole championship at Links On The Bayou Golf Course (par 72, 5,884 yards). Chanelle Avaricio, the defending individual champion and low medalist, shot even par 72 to lead the field by one shot. Dismary Marquez and Janelle Kraakman each shot two-over par 74 and are tied for third place. Sylvia Masango is tied for sixth place after shooting six-over 78, one shot ahead of Shanon Spinuzzi’s seven-over 79, as the Lady Hornets have a 16-shot lead over second-place Texas Southern (316) and a 31-stroke lead over third-place Jackson State in the six-team field (329).

“I am pleased with their composure,” ASU head golf coach Dr. Gary Grandison said. “There were several unforced errors that can get cleaned up during the final round. Their poise allowed them to persevere.”

The four-time defending SWAC Champion men’s team shot five-under par 283 to lead second-place Texas Southern by nine shots (292) and third place Arkansas-Pine Bluff by 27 shots (310) in the eight-team field in the 54-hole championship at Oak Wing Golf Club (par 72, 7,043 yards). The Hornets placed four players in the top seven and all five in the top 11.

Freshman Edd Hackett Jr. shot three-under 69 and is in second place, one-shot ahead of senior Francis Berthiaume’s two-under 70 and three-time defending low medalist and senior Branson Ferrier’s one-under 71. Freshman Mbongeni Maphosa Jr. is tied for seven place after shooting one-over 73, and sophomore Charles Griffin Jr. shot four-over par 76 in the opening round.

“Our young guns played well, and were backed up by our seniors,” Dr. Grandison said of the men’s play. “In fact, our entire team played well in spurts. However, our guys know what we have to do tomorrow.”

Tuesday’s play begins at 8 a.m.