Sept. 21, 2012
Landon Michelson and sophomore Tommy Economou both fired even-par scores of 71 to pace the Owls' golf team in the opening round of play at the prestigious Mason Rudolph Championship Friday afternoon in Franklin, Tenn.
Teeing off on the 10th to begin Friday's round of the 54-hole, three-day tournament, Economou and Michelson both carded identical rounds of 36-35 to finish at par 71. Michelson was one-under through his first eleven holes had had only one bogey on the day (at No. 3) for his best round at Rice. A native of Miami, Fla., who joined the Owls this season from Birmingham Southern College, Michelson has improved in every one of his collegiate rounds since opening the season two weeks ago.
Economou is playing in first tournament of the young season and quickly went right to work to go two-under through the first six holes. The Hillsborough, Calif., native was one-over with two holes left to play, but birdied the par-four eighth and had a par at No. 9 for his opening-round 71.
Economou and Michelson are tied for 15th among a field of 84 on the individual leaderboard. The duo is just four shots off the individual lead. Friday's Rice scores included sophomore Joe Beck III (77, +6), senior Brock Wilson (80, +9) and freshman James Lee (81, +10).
"Landon and Tommy were solid today, but as a team we played the par fives poorly," said Rice head coach Justin Emil. "Our game plan was efficient and everyone hit their share of good shots. We just need to take advantage of the birdie opportunities, especially on the back nine where there are three fairly easy par fives."
As a team Rice posted a score of 15-over par 299 to finish the day in 15th place. The Owls are 19 shots off the lead of nationally-ranked Oklahoma (280, -4). There are still two more rounds to play at Vanderbilt's 7100-yard, Legends South Golf Course. The Mason Rudolph Championship continues with 18 holes on Saturday, and concludes with a final round on Sunday (Sept. 23).