Freshmen propel High Point Men’s Golf to lead after day one at Donald Ross Intercollegiate

• Freshman Brendan MacDougall sits in second and just one stroke off the lead after two rounds thanks to a -3 (67) in the second round.
• Freshman RJ Bartolomucci fired the first sub-par round of his career with a first-round 69 (-1) and is tied for sixth after two rounds (140, E).
• High Point carded a +1 (281) in both rounds to mark the third-lowest score in a round in program history.

MORGANTON, N.C. – Following the lead of its freshmen, the High Point University men’s golf team holds a nine-stroke lead over Towson after 36 holes at the Donald Ross Intercollegiate.

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Freshman RJ Bartolomucci’s -1 (70) propelled the Panthers to the lead after round one. However, freshman Brendan MacDougall stole the show with a -3 (67) in the second round to move into second headed to the final round on Tuesday.

Through 36 holes, the two freshmen find themselves near the top individually on the par 70 6,718-yard Mimosa Hills Golf and Country Club course. MacDougall (70-67, -3) is second while Bartolomucci is tied for sixth (69, 71, E).

“I am very pleased with the way the team played today,” head coach Brady Gregor said. “We put together two solid and clean rounds. Anytime you keep the big numbers off the scorecard you are going to play well and we did that throughout the lineup. Most importantly, we have given ourselves a chance to win going into the final round and that’s why we tee it up. We are going to get some valuable experience sleeping on a lead and we need that as a program to move forward to get where we are going.”

The Purple & White finished strong in order to build a nine-stroke lead (281, 281, +2). Towson (+11) is hanging on to second while Evansville (+12) rounds out the top three. The matching scores of 281 are tied for the third-lowest round in program history.

After carding an even 70 on the first trip around the course, MacDougall opened his second round with two bogeys in the first four holes. However, the Calgary, Alberta native responded with three birdies and an eagle on the next four holes to get to three-under.

On the back nine, the freshman bogeyed the 13th hole, but yet again rebounded with a birdie on 14 to fire a career-best 67 (-3). He is tied for first in par 4 scoring (3.96) and tied for second in par 5 scoring (4.00).

MacDougall’s 67 is his lowest score and the lowest mark by a Panther since Jack Sides equaled it in March of 2015.

Meanwhile, Bartolomucci’s opening-round 69 is his lowest score and marks the first sub-par round of his career. The Hilton Head, S.C. native continued his solid play with a +1 (71) on the second 18 holes to finish tied for sixth (69, 71, E).

Just one stroke behind Bartolomucci, sophomore Christian Casignal gives the Panthers a third golfer in the top-10. Casignal opened the day with a 71 before carding a 70 to finish the day just one-over par and in a tie for ninth.

The Charleston, W. Va. native played a key role in High Point’s strong finish racking up three birdies in his final five holes.

Like MacDougall, redshirt-junior AJ Hopkins recorded his first eagle of the season to bolster his opening-round 71 (+1). The Thousand Oaks, Calif. product finished the day in a tie for 20th (71, 73, +4) and was tied for second in par-5 scoring (4.00).

Rounding out the day for HPU is sophomore Davis Kiger who is tied for 39th with a two round score of +9 (74, 75).

The Purple & White will be right back out on the course on Tuesday morning in the third and final round of the Donald Ross Intercollegiate.