Sept. 16, 2013
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Sophomore James Lee and freshman Kevin Reilly led Rice University men’s golf on the opening day of Colorado State’s Ram Masters Invitational on Monday. The underclassmen tied for eighth place with 141 (+1) at Fort Collins Country Club. The Owls rank fifth out of 15 teams heading into Tuesday’s final round with a 286-287—573 (+13).
Pleased with the start to the event, head coach Justin Emil said, “I am really proud of the way the guys adjusted to the conditions today. We played a soggy, wet practice round in nearly unplayable golf conditions on Sunday. Today’s round started a lot like the practice round with light rain and a soaked course. As soon as the sun came out, everything changed in a matter of minutes. The ball flew farther -- thanks in part to the altitude – and the course dried up, making it more difficult. Tomorrow, the course will play a little tougher so we have to keep fighting and keep our focus in the moment.”
Lee fired a pair of birdies in the opening round and finished with a 72 before heating up in the afternoon to notch a career-best 69 in the round, including birdies on two of his final three holes. Both rounds on the day were his lowest of the young season.
Continuing a trend of quick starts, Reilly knocked down four birdies in his first eight holes on Monday morning and capped off the round with a three-under par 67 to top his previous best round by two strokes. After tying for second place through 18 holes, the rookie shot a 74 in the afternoon to settle in eighth place.
The Owls’ top finisher in last week’s Sam H. Hall Intercollegiate, senior Landon Michelson notched a steady 71-71—142 (+2) with four birdies to tie for 12th overall, one stroke behind his teammates. His 27 pars in 36 holes rank him second in the field.
Joe Beck III improved by three strokes between his first and second rounds to tie for 54th place at 76-73—149 (+9). In the fall opener, Beck improved in each of the rounds, which bodes well for Tuesday’s round.
Freshman Alex Levy also cut three strokes off his opening score in the afternoon with a 78-75—153 (+13). He notched two of his three birdies in the second round and stands tied for 73rd place heading into the final 18 holes.
Host Colorado State leads the field with a 564, two strokes up on Nevada. CSU’s Cameron Harrell leads the field with a 137 (-3), four strokes up on the Rice co-leaders. The Owls are just two strokes back from fourth-place Wichita State and three behind third-place Louisville.
Tuesday’s third round opens with tee times beginning at 9 a.m. CT with live scoring provided by GolfStat.com.