Eastern men’s golf team in last place after day one of tournament

Oscar Rzodkiewicz, Golf Reporter

The men’s golf team remains within striking distance of the pack at the Drake Zach Johnson Invitational after day one, despite ranking tied for last at +59 through two rounds.

Eastern is behind with Northern Iowa, which is in 11th place, and finished 43 strokes back of Bradley in first place at the par-71 Glen Oaks Country Club in Des Moines, Iowa.

This is the closest Eastern has been to an opponent through the first day of each of its three events this season, thanks in large part to a great 36 holes from senior Charlie Adare.

Adare led the team by a wide margin, finishing just +5 combined yesterday, including a -1 on the front nine in his first round.

Adare struggled out of the gate, shooting +3 in his first three holes, but he turned it around by finishing -2 in his last six holes of the first round.

Adare’s mid-day adjustments seemed to help as well, as the only problematic hole he faced in round one, a double-bogey on the par-5 15th, turned into a birdie on the same hole in round two.

Adare ranked third on the team going into the day in stroke average, clocking in at 77.83 on the season, but his two 73-stroke rounds helped the team in a major way to as they attempt to avoid yet another last place finish.

Junior Romeo Perez, the team leader in stroke average this season, began the day slowly with a +5 score through his first four holes in round one.

Perez closed off the round with an 82, his worst score of the season by five strokes.

Perez rebounded quickly, though, posting three birdies in his first four holes of the front nine in round two en route to a 73-stroke total on his final 18 holes of the day.

Perez was able to clean up multiple bogeys on the back nine of round one and turn them into par performances in round two.

Ranking third for the Panthers thus far is freshman Pierce Allord, who recorded an 85-stroke first round before trimming that down to a 79 in the second round.

Allord’s back nine in the first 18 holes killed him, as he went over-par in all but two holes in a +10 performance.

Allord flipped the script the next round, though, finishing just +3 on the back including a birdie on the par-4 12th hole.

Junior Marcello Verdolin and freshman Nic Nguyen brought up the rear for Eastern in day one.

Verdolin stayed consistent with two 84-stroke rounds, and Nguyen finished his first round at +14.

Eastern tees off for its final rounds at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

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