Men’s golf team struggles in first day of tournament play

Oscar Rzodkiewicz, Golf Reporter

The Eastern men’s golf team got off to a slow start at the Southern Illinois Edwardsville Derek Dolenc Classic on Monday, ranking last out of 17 teams after two rounds.

The Panthers held closely to the pack after the first round, finishing within 10 strokes of seven other teams, but the team fell off late, ending +52 with a 620-stroke total through 36 holes.

Freshman Pierce Allord led the way in the first round for Eastern with a +2, 73 on the 7,092-yard Gateway National Golf Links in Madison.

Allord went bogey-less on the back nine of the first round and birdied the par-four fifth hole to punctuate his lowest round of the season.

Allord had a solid second round going, shooting just +2 through his first 13 holes, but he went +7 in his last five of the day to post an 80-stroke final.

Junior Romeo Perez finished just behind Allord through 18 holes, eventually ending +7 after two rounds to lead the team overall.

Perez went over-par on five holes in his first round including an uncharacteristic triple bogey on the second hole, but he flipped the script recording a birdie on the same hole in the second round.

Perez’s even-par back nine in the second round helped him finish in just 74 strokes.

For senior Charlie Adare, it was a tale of two rounds.

Adare struggled in the first 18, birdying zero holes and bogeying three straight holes on the front nine to tie for a team-worst 81.

However, Adare turned it around with an even-par front nine to tie Perez with a +3, 74 in the second round.

The course’s par-four 11th hole ranked as the hardest for competitors all day, averaging a +0.56 plus-minus for all golfers, and that trend hit Eastern heavily.

The Panthers managed to go even on the hole in the first round, but coming around the second time, it forced two double bogeys and a triple bogey from Eastern’s team.

Sophomore Sebastian Olrog played a consistent first round, finishing +5 with a birdie on number seven.

However, the second round was not as friendly for Olrog, as he failed to birdie any hole, including four double bogeys and a +4 third hole.

Freshman Nick Nguyen saw a similar lack of success in his first tournament appearance of the year after reportedly being held out of the team’s first event last weekend due to documentation issues with the NCAA.

Nguyen fumbled to +9 in his first 12 holes before settling in with five pars in six holes for a first round 81.

Nguyen birdied the fifth and 10th holes in the second round, but an explosive 12-stroke third hole killed an otherwise respectable day for the rookie.

Eastern trails first-ranked Southern Illinois Edwardsville by 56 strokes heading into the third and final round today.

The Panthers tee off at 8:15 a.m.

Oscar Rzodkiewicz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]