State College, Pa. - Nittany Lion golfers found themselves falling behind the pace at the conclusion of Monday's opening round of the Penn State University Athletic Conference Championship at the Penn State Blue Course. Hazleton's outing currently places them in fifth place with a combined score of 355 in round one, 31 strokes behind first place Lehigh Valley (324) but just nine shots behind Penn State Wilkes-Barre (346) who finishes the day in second position.
Sophomore Garrett Madison (Stroudsburg, Pa.) tallied his lowest score of the season to lead all Hazleton scorers with a nine over par 81. After a double bogey on the par three 14th hole, Madison strung six consecutive pars together to steady his round, finishing fifth individually amongst all other PSUAC contenders.
Sophomore Ty Morzilla (Berwick, Pa.) had a fine opening round going at two over par through nine holes, but struggled on his way in, failing to record a par on his back nine and finishing at 13 over par, 85. Freshman Katie Behnert (Montandon, Pa.) and senior Brandon Haydt (Hobbie, Pa.) rounded out the scoring for Hazleton. Behnert shot a 14 over par 86 in her PSUAC Championship debut while Haydt struggled in his second consecutive outing, carding a 103 on Monday.
Penn State Mont Alto's Austin Green led all PSUAC scorers on Monday with a 79. Three players trail Green by one shot, including Ethan Culver and Shane Rhodes of Penn State Lehigh Valley, along with Wilkes-Barre's Tim Walters.
The United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Golf Championship, being held simultaneously at the Blue Course, is led by Cleary Univeristy's Devin Young. Young shot a brilliant four under par 68 to lead the tournament by five strokes after day one.
Next up: Penn State Hazleton will look to move up on the leaderboard during round two of the championship. Play resumes at the Penn State Blue Course on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m.