Men's Golf lands top spot after first day at Fireline Invite
By SCOTT WARD
GRASONVILLE, Md. -- Northern Colorado Men's Golf will be back on the East Coast in about a month for the America Sky Men's Golf Conference Championship at Lake of Isles in Stonington, Conn.
If they play then like they did Friday, during the first round of the 14th annual Towson Fireline Invitational at Prospect Bay Country Club, the Bears will be in great shape for a first team conference championship.
Northern Colorado turned in an even-par 288 team score Friday at Prospect Bay Country Club and sits atop the 22-team leaderboard with 18 holes left to play tomorrow and Sunday.
That 288 is tied for the Bears' lowest team round this season, matching their second-round effort at the Herb Wimberley Intercollegiate in New Mexico in October.
Freshman Steven Kupcho led the Bears' effort with a 1-under 71 to tie for sixth in the 120-player field. Even-par rounds of 72 from junior Kevin Collignon and freshman Steve Connell had them in a tie for 12th and added to Northern Colorado's first-place effort.
Central Connecticut State sits in second (290) in the team standings, while Seton Hall, Navy and Penn State are in a three-way tie for third (294). ASMGC teams Hartford (sixth) and Binghamtom (ninth) are also in the field.
"We played pretty solid," Northern Colorado coach Chuck Scheinost said. "I'm excited for the guys. We got off to a little bit of a rough start early on and then really battled back and made some ground after that. I'm very proud of the guys, but we need to keep getting better and keep going forward and take some momentum into Sunday. There's a lot of golf left to played here."
Northern Colorado finished the front nine four strokes over par after carding 11 bogeys and one double bogey on its five scorecards. The Bears turned it around from there, coming into the clubhouse after a 4-under back nine, which included 11 birdies.
"We actually left a few shots out there," Scheinost said. "I know the guys feel bad. Ben [Krueger] led us last week, so we're hoping to get his head turned around. He's been playing good golf. He just started slow today and wasn't able to bounce back."
"The guys are excited, because we knew what this tournament was going to be. We know we have a chance to win here if we play our game. We know that today is only for today, though. Tomorrow is a whole new day. We always talk about, 'We've got to stay in the aggressive mind-set and stay in the present—not in the past; not in the future.' We've got to stay grounded and work each shot as we're supposed to work it. Hopefully we'll put in another good round tomorrow and be in good shape going into Sunday."