Stockton, Calif. - With winds gusting off the Delta and swirling around the course at the Stockton Golf and Country Club, the Tigers were able to play through the tough conditions to find themselves in a tie for third overall on day one at the Visit Stockton Pacific Invitational. The tough conditions wreaked havoc on the field at the annual event in Stockton as no team found themselves under-par after the opening 18 holes while Pacific came in at 15-over par and in a three way tie for third with Sacramento State and UC Irvine.
Leading the field after the opening day was Long Beach State as the 49ers played their way through the wind and around the course at eight-over for the day to sit five shots clear of second place Denver.
For the Tigers, the day started off rough as Pacific dropped to 14th in the standings at 14-over par before making the turn to the back-nine of the course. Despite the start, the Tigers were able to adjust to the playing conditions like few of the teams in the 16-team as Pacific began carding pars with a few birdies strewn about to hold tough for the remainder of the day. With the Tigers staying put, the rest of the field succumbed to the tough playing conditions as Pacific allowed the majority of the field to fall back sending the Tigers up the standings and into contention heading into the second day of play on Friday.
Individually, the Tigers was paced by their junior Geoff Fry who finished his first-ever round at the invitational at just two-over firing off a 73. Fry's day started with a pair of bogies in the opening six holes before finding his rhythm. He would birdie the seventh before dropping back a stroke on the 10th with a bogie. Unfazed, he would get the stroke back with his second birdie of the day on the par-5, 16th, before a final bogie on the 18th to place him into a tie for sixth overall in the standings.
Just behind Fry, the Tigers saw senior SeungJae Maeng fight his way around the course to finish just one stroke back of Fry as Maeng went +3, 74, in the first day of play in Stockton. Maeng would card three birdies in his round but suffer from four bogies and a double-bogey on the par-3, 8th, to finish in a tie for 15th. Overall, Maeng finds himself just five off the tournament lead while Fry sits four back of the leader, UC Irvine's David Kim, who fired off one of just two rounds under-par on the day with a -2, 69.
The lone other under-par round came from the Tigers' Matt Lee who shot a season-best -1, 70, to come into the clubhouse in second place overall. Lee is playing the tournament as an individual unattached from the Tigers' starting five after missing the cut in qualifying for Pacific.
The Tigers will look to make a move on day two of the invitational on Friday, Oct. 30, as conditions look to settle at the Stockton Golf and Country Club. The Tigers tee off with the other top-three teams beginning at 9:30 am from the first tee.