GREENSBORO, Ga. — Behind a record-setting performance by Davis Thompson, the Georgia men’s golf team grabbed the first-round lead on Sunday in the 13th annual Linger Longer Invitational.
The Bulldogs fired a 16-under 272 on the Great Waters course (par-72, 7,073 yards) at Reynolds Lake Oconee. Georgia is five shots clear of Alabama’s 277 and six ahead of Penn State’s 278.
Thompson, a freshman from Auburn, Ala., signed for a 9-under-par 63 to secure the top spot individually. With nine birdies and no bogeys, Thompson tied the single-round school record set by Peter Persons in the 1984 Rafael Alarcon Intercollegiate. Persons, who actually was in attendance on Sunday, was a Georgia teammate of Thompson’s father, Todd, in 1985 and 1986.
The Bulldogs got an additional boost from sophomore Spencer Ralston, who signed for a 7-under 65. That is the third-lowest figure in school history and had been recorded 22 additional times, including once by Todd Thompson in 1988. Ralston, who recorded eight birdies of his own, stands second in the individual race.
The Bulldogs also counted a 2-under 70 from sophomore Trevor Phillips, who is 12th, and a 2-over 74 by senior Zach Healy. Freshman John Hilliard Catanzaro had the Bulldogs’ non-counting score of 5-over 77.
Playing as individuals, junior David Mackey landed in 12th at 1-under 71, followed by junior Jack Larkin Jr. and sophomore Will Chandler both at even-par 72.
“We really believed a day like this was coming,” Georgia head coach Chris Haack said. “We’ve been striking the ball well and we’ve picked up some momentum and confidence. Davis was just tremendous today. Nine birdies with no bogeys is pretty amazing. He’s been solid all year, especially in the spring. It was great the way he and Spencer led us today.”
The Linger Longer Invitational will continue on Monday and will conclude on Tuesday.