PHOENIX — Montana Tech senior Sean Benson shot a 1-under-par 71 Monday to take a three-stroke lead after the opening round of the Frontier Conference men’s golf championships at the Papago Golf Club in Phoenix.
Benson poured in five birdies on the day, including three in the first seven holes to shoot an opening-nine 35. He is the only player under par.
Four others are tied for second with opening-round 74s, including Benson’s teammate Sean Ramsbacher, Rocky Mountain College’s Reece Nilsen, and Providence’s Jonny Cielak. Lewis-Clark State’s Carlos Davila also shot +2 on the par-72 course.
A trio of Rocky golfers are tied for eighth after opening-round 76s — HoTae Kim, Colton Murphy, and Michael Tait — tying Tech for the team lead at 302. Lewis-Clark is six shots back at 308, with Providence in fourth at 314.
Round 2 of 3 is set for 7:30 a.m. PDT Tuesday, with a shogun start in threesomes. The team and individual winner receive automatic berths to the NAIA men’s golf championships at Las Sendas Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz., May 21-24.