NEW LONDON, N.C. - Only two individuals bettered par and no team posted a below par score as the 50th annual Atlantic Coast Conference men's golf championship got underway at the Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point.
An all-day rain, heavy at time, delayed the start of play for the day 90 minutes and caused the scores to range a from 3-under-par 69 to a high of 16-over-par 88.
The University of North Carolina grabbed the opening-round lead with a 2-over 290, three shots better than Wake Forest and four ahead of Clemson. .Duke placed fourth at 303 with defending champion Georgia Tech fifth at 305. Virginia is seventh at 310 followed by Florida State and Maryland, tied at 311, and N.C. State ninth at 312.
'All the guys hung in there, made some good putts and played an incredible round,' says North Carolina Head Coach John Inman. 'The team has been playing well all year, they have gotten better and the confidence is showing. It was a great round for the team to shoot two-over-par in these conditions. 'They really battled through and I couldn't be happier with their score. To get through this day with that score bodes well for the weekend'
Wake Forest's Bill Haas, a junior from Greer, S.C., had the day's best round with the 3-under 69, and defending champion Dustin Bray, a North Carolina junior from Asheboro, N.C., had the day's only other sub-par round with a 1-under 71.
Bray, who had an opening-round 66 a year ago in posting his 11-under par victory, birdied his first two holes in shooting the day's other sub-par round. He finished his round with five birdies and four bogies.
'I got in a decent first round and just giving myself a chance at this point and not shooting myself out of it,' says Bray. 'It was tough out there. My mental game is there; it's just a matter of hitting golf shots. I hit some good shots and some awful shots.'
Five players posted even-par rounds of 72. They are Ramon Bescansa and Richard Treish of North Carolina, Jack Ferguson and Ben Duncan, both of Clemson, and Brent Wanner of Wake Forest.
Coach John Inman of North Carolina said, 'They really battled through and I couldn't be happier with them shooting two over par. To get through this day with that score bodes well for the weekend.'