LAKE CHARLES, LA -- Sam Houston State holds a one-stroke lead after the first day of the 45th annual Southland Conference men's golf championship Monday.
The tournament is being played on the par 72, 7,233-yard layout at Gray Plantation Golf Course. The Bearkats shot a nine-over team total of 297. Lamar, the No. 28 ranked men's team in NCAA Division I golf, holds a 298 score to stand in second.
Texas State-San Marcos is third at 300, followed by Southeastern Louisiana 302, Texas-Arlington 302, Central Arkansas and Texas-San Antonio tied at 308, Nicholls State 310, and Stephen F. Austin and McNeese tied at 313.
Scott Kelly paced the Bearkats with a one-over 18 hole score of 73. Kelly bounced back after a double bogey on the par 3 sixth hole put him two-over to play the next 12 holes in one-under to tie for fifth place in the individual medalist standings.
Four golfers share first place in the individual race. Eddie Brescher of Southeastern Louisiana, Hugues Joannes of Lamar, Zack Reeves of UTA, and Corey Roberson of Texas State-San Marcos each shot an even par 72.
Brandon Frankhouser of Sam Houston stands in ninth place with a two-over 74. Bearkts Scooter Jefferson and Fergal Rafferty both are tied for 12th individually with a pair of 75s. Stewart Bannatyne is 45th with an 83.
The 54-hole tournament will feature 18 holes of action each of the next two days.
Sam Houston State entered the conference post season tournament third in league standings (295.56) in stroke average. Ronnie Choate, interim head coach for the Bearkats in 2008, was the last coach to lead the Kats to a men's golf title. That win came in 1994.