Chappell is in a four-way tie for the lead with Oklahoma States Trent Leon, Georgia States Joel Sjoholm and Georgia Techs Cameron Tringale. Another group of five players is two strokes back at 1-under 71.
The Bruins shot 2-over-par 290 Monday on the 7,017-yard, par 72 Lakeside Course, in a round played in cold and windy conditions that included snow flurries at one point early in the day.
They lead 11th-ranked Florida State (3-over 291) by one and fifth-ranked Oklahoma State (4-over 292). No. 6 Southern California, No. 24 East Tennessee State and top-ranked Alabama are tied for fourth place at 6-over 294. The top eight teams are separated by just eight strokes heading into Tuesdays round.
Tenth-ranked Georgia Tech, the host team, is in seventh place at 8-over 296, followed by Georgia State at 10-over 298. No. 2 Georgia is tied with Coastal Carolina for ninth place another four shots back.
The first round was delayed 30 minutes by frost and was played in winds that gusted as high at 20 miles per hour. Temperatures never rose above 47 degrees, and the wind chill factor topped out at 40 degrees.
Chappell, a senior from Fresno, Calif., overcame a quadruple-bogey on the third hole, birdieing the sixth through the 10th holes, and had seven birdies altogether in his round. Craig Leslie and Lucas Lee shot 73 each for the Bruins, while Erik Flores and Jason Kang added 75s.
'I think the golf course is more there for the taking that it was last year, said Chappell, who chipped three times on No. 3 and had the ball roll back to his feet each time. When they introduced my group on the first tee, it started snowing. I said, Oh, Great, I didnt know they played in snow You just deal with it. The greens definitely are not as firm. I heard people say they were not as fast (as last year), but I thought they were plenty fast.
Sjoholm, the nations sixth-ranked player who has averaged 71.04 strokes over 24 rounds this year, birdied three holes with no bogeys on the back side after playing the first nine holes in even par. Tringale, a junior from Laguna Niguel, Calif., posted his eighth round in the 60s and his 13th subpar round of the year. He recorded seven birdies, but bogeyed No. 10 and double-bogeyed No. 13 after reaching 4-under on his round. Leon, a junior from Dallas, Texas, ranked 46th in the nation, played a bogey-free back nine with three birdies.
Its our home course, said Tringale. We know every bump, that kind of thing. Weve been around here enough times, we should do pretty well. I think the scores are going to get better each day as people get more familiar with the course. Its playing a little easier because the greens arent as fast or as firm.
Cameron Knight led Florida State with a 1-under 71 and is in the five-way tie for fifth individually, while Rickie Fowler paced Oklahoma State with an even-par 72, part of a six-way tie for 10th.
Chesson Hadley shot 74, while Daniel Bowden (77) and JT Griffin also counted for Georgia Tech. The Panthers, in eighth place at 10-over 298, counted a 74 from Alex Castro, a 77 from Tom Sherreard and a 78 from Maurice Jordan. Georgia counted 74s from Adam Mitchell and Hudson Swafford, and 78s from Brian Harman and Harris English.
All three Georgia teams are paired together, teeing off the 10th hole at 11:20 a.m., for Tuesdays second round. Tee times begin Tuesday at 10 a.m. from both the first and 10th holes.