Hughes in Third Place, Penguins in Fourth After First Round at HL Championships

C.J. Hughes (Photo by Drae Smith)
C.J. Hughes (Photo by Drae Smith)

Howey-In-The-Hills, Fla. – Youngstown State sophomore men's golfer C.J. Hughes is in third place after shooting an even-par 72, and the Penguins are in fourth after the first day of competition at the Horizon League Championships at Mission Inn Resort's El Campeon Golf Course.

Hughes sits just one stroke behind Oakland's Chris Handy and Green Bay's George Kneiser, who each had a 1-under-par 71 on Sunday.

In the team standings, the Penguins are fourth following a first-round 305. They are just five strokes back of second-place Oakland and seven strokes behind first-place Northern Kentucky as teams one through five are separated by just 10 shots. The Norse grabbed the lead with a first-round team score of 298, which was the only round of below 300.

In the opening round, Hughes carded an even-par round that featured seven pars, six birdies, four bogeys and just one double bogey. He had birdies on No. 3, No. 8, No. 9 while shooting even par (35) on the front nine.

Hughes also played the back nine at even par (37), and was two-under over his final 11 holes. The sophomore birdied No. 10, No. 12 and No. 14 on the back nine. He recorded a birdie on three straight holes from No. 8 to No. 10 to begin a stretch where he made par or better on nine of 10 holes.

First-Team All-Horizon League honoree Kevin Scherr turned in a 77, and is tied for 15th place. Scherr's round included 12 pars, one birdie, four bogeys and just one double bogey. The sophomore made par on his first six holes, and was two-over par (37) on the front nine.

After a double bogey and a bogey to begin the back nine, he shot even par over his final seven holes with five pars and a birdie on No. 18. Scherr made par or better on six of his final seven holes to finish three-over par (40) on the back nine.

Sophomore Ken Keller also finished strong to post a first-round score of 77, and join Scherr in a tie for 15th. Keller birdied three of his first five holes, and went on to play the front nine at three-over par (38). After starting the back nine with two straight bogeys, he was even over his final seven holes with four pars and birdies on No. 14 and No. 16.

In his Horizon League Championships debut, sophomore Zack Ford finished with a 79, and is tied for 23rd. After a rocky front nine, Ford settled in to play the back nine at one-over par (38). On the back nine, he made par or better on four of his first five holes including a birdie on No.  14. Ford also made birdie on No. 3 and No. 17 during his opening round of play.

Senior Jason McQuown is tied for 30th place following an opening-round 81. Like Ford, he also bounced back to finish strong after a difficult first nine holes. After playing the front nine at seven-over par (42), McQuown made seven pars and finished just two-over par (39) on the back nine. The senior made par on eight of his final 10 holes overall.

The second round gets underway on Monday with YSU teeing off at 8:50 a.m. The Penguins will be paired with Northern Kentucky for the second straight day. Live stats will be available via Golfstat.com and the Golfstat mobile app.