#4-ranked Dalton State got off to a hot start carding a (-1, 287) in the first round of the SSAC Championships at Robert Trent Jones at Cambrian Ridge in Greenville, Ala. on Monday.
#11 William Carey (Miss.) (+14, 302) is in second followed by #23 Loyola (La.) (+18, 306) in third. In fourth is Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (+19, 307), with (RV) Mobile (Ala.) (+22, 310) rounding out the top-5.
A red hot Ben Rebne led the Roadrunners firing a (-6, 66). Rebne got it going early with a birdie on No.
1 and kept the momentum with birdies at Nos. 4 & 7. He dropped one shot with a bogey at No. 8, but got the shot right back and hit the turn with confidence after another birdie at No. 9. Three more birdies coming in saw him break away from the rest of the field and take the lead by five strokes.
Trailing Rebne in second is fellow junior Sport Allmond. He posted a round of (-1, 71) and sits in a tie with Andrew McDonald of Blue Mountain (Miss.). Allmond recovered nicely after an opening bogey with birdies at Nos. 3 & 9 to make the turn at 1-under. An even-par, 36 on the back 9 featured two birdies and two bogeys.
Joining the pair of juniors in the top-10 is freshman Zach Womack in eighth after a round of (+2, 74). Womack had a little difficulty on the opening nine with two bogeys and a double-bogey, but snuck in two birdies to finish the front 9 at 2-over. He started the back 9 with a bogey on No. 10, then found some momentum with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 & 16 to get to 1-over. A bogey-par finish shot him back to 2-over to finish.
Eli Hendricks finished out the day with a round of (+4, 76) and sit in a four-way tie for 12th. Hendricks made the turn at 1-over, but encountered trouble at Nos. 14 & 15 with a triple bogey and a bogey. He recovered though and sunk a birdie at No. 18 to finish strong.
The last Roadrunner in the lineup was Matthew Cleary carding a (+5, 77). The winner of the SSAC Fall Preview at this very course started solid with a birdie at No. 4. Things shifted quickly as a quadruple bogey at No. 8 shot his score up to 3-over. Cleary spent the rest of the round trying to dig out of the hole, but never could. His score though was still good enough to tie for 17th and still give him a chance for a good finish to the tournament.
The #4 Roadrunners will be back on the course tomorrow, April 16 for the second of three rounds in the SSAC Championships at RTJ at Cambrian Ridge in Greenville, Ala. The Birds will once again be paired with #11 William Carey and #23 Loyola.