VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – Freshman Andy Knox shot a 1-under-par 70 Friday to tie for second place and lead the UNCG men's golf team to a fifth-place tie through one day of the 16-team, 54-hole Pinehurst Intercollegiate Presented by Gatorade.
Knox becomes the first Spartan to break par in the young season, which is in its second event. The effort is good for a second-place tie among the 89 individual competitors over the 6,990-yard, par-71 Pinehurst No. 6 layout. Knox is even with T.J. Howe of Penn State and one stroke behind leader Brian Churchill-Smith of Eastern Michigan.
Collectively, the Spartans are tied with 46th-ranked Virginia Tech and with VCU at 297, six shots back of Eastern Michigan.
Knox is showing signs of giving UNCG an impact rookie for the second straight year. He was solid in the team's season-opening event in Puerto Rico, posting consecutive 73s and a 77, and he did his best work Friday on the course's par-5s, which he played in 2-under.
Robert Hoadley was named All-Southern Conference and SoCon All-Freshman in 2010, and that success helped make him a 2011 semifinalist for the prestigious Sullivan Award, commonly known as the Oscars of amateur athletics. Hoadley did not make the cut to the five finalists, but he did rank sixth among the 12 candidates in online voting conducted by USA Today.
Hoadley was third among the Spartans on Friday with a 75 in which he bogeyed four of six holes on the front nine. Teammate Will Almand also cracked the top 10 overall, tying for 10th with a 72. Colin Chapman (80) and Justin Clement (81) rounded out the lineup that officially represented UNCG.
Another Spartan, Kyle Sonday, posted a 73, but his score did not count because only five players per team can participate under the team banner. Others must be designated as unattached competitors.
"The team played through some major mistakes today to salvage the round," Spartan coach Terrance Stewart said. "Andy and Will had excellent comebacks to save the day for us. Kyle Sonday played very well, I'm very glad to see him back. The conditions were very difficult and we kept ourselves in the tournament to have a good comeback this weekend."
PINEHURST INTERCOLLEGIATE PRESENTED BY GATORADE
Pinehust No. 6, Pinehurst Resort (Par-72, 6904 yards)
VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C.
Team scores (16 teams in all)
1. Eastern Michigan 291; T2. Michigan State 293; T2. Penn State 293; 4. Richmond 295; T5. Virginia Tech 297; T5. UNCG 297; T5. VCU 297; T9. Marshall 300; T9 Radford 300.
Top 10: 1. Brian Churchill-Smith (Eastern Michigan) 69; T2. T.J. Howe (Penn State) 70; T2. Andy Knox (UNCG) 70; T2. Mikey Moyers (Virginia Tech) 70; T2. Sam Wall (Old Dominion) 70; T6. Dan Ellis (Michigan State) 71; T6. Bosten Miller (Marshall( 71; T6. Daniel Walker (Richmond) 71; T6. Jack Wilkes (Richmond) 71; T10. Will Almand (UNCG) 72; T10. Sam Beach (Richmond) 72; T10. Herbert Day (Xavier) 72; T10. Anthony DeGol (Penn State) 72.
Other UNCG golfers: T19. Kyle Sonday 73*; T33. Robert Hoadley 75; T73. Colin Chapman 80; T78. Justin Clement 81; T88. Matt Younts 84*.
* Competing as unattached player.