(Editor’s note: RMC Athletics release)
MESA, Ariz. – Only three strokes from the lead, Rocky Mountain College finished the first day of the 2019 NAIA National Championship in second place Tuesday. Results are not in for the last few teams and play has just been postponed. The first round will continue Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. CDT.
The Battlin’ Bears finished the round at 12-over-par 296 with three golfers in the top 20. Texas Wesleyan sits in first at 293.
“Very proud of how well the team handled today,” said head men’s golf coach Aaron Pohle. “They did a great job of limiting mistakes and put themselves in great positions around the greens.”
Rocky was led by pair performances from its sophomores in Reece Nilsen and Mitchell Thiessen. Both are tied with each other in ninth overall at 2-over-par 71.
Nilsen began the round with a birdie on the par-4 first hole and ended it with an eagle on the par-5 18th hole. He recorded one eagle, three birdies and seven pars. Thiessen stayed consistent the entire round with three birdies and 10 pars. His first birdie came at the par-4 eighth hole with additional birdies on the 10th and 15th holes.
Shooting 3-over-par 74, Michael Tait bogeyed the first three holes, but found a rhythm after posting an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole. The senior finished with three birdies in the back nine. He ended the day with the eagle, three birdies and eight pars to tie for 15th.
Tied at 33rd, Colton Murphy shot a 5-over-par 76 with two birdies and nine pars. HoeTae Kim rounded out the Battlin’ Bears performances with a tie in 77th, shooting an 8-over-par 79.
The Battlin’ Bears will now tee off for the second round of nationals Wednesday at 11:10 a.m. CDT.