AKRON, Ohio. -- Sophomore Keller Harper (+2) tied for 19th to lead the Furman men's golf team Monday in the first day of the Firestone Invitational at the par 72, 7,125 yard Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
Harper, who hails from Atlanta, Ga., birdied No. 1 and carded a 75 in Monday's morning round then fired a 71 and was one of four Paladins with four birdies in the afternoon round. Senior Hunter Nichols (+6) added a 75 in both rounds, with three birdies in the morning and four in the afternoon to tie for 42nd. Sophomore Matt Lehman (+9) carded a 77 with four birdies, including consecutive birdies on No. 5 and No. 5, in the first round and a 76 with two birdies in round two, and is tied for 60th heading into Tuesday's final round.
Junior Connor Bruns (+10) scored an 81 with three birdies in Monday's first round and rebounded with a 73 and four birdies, including back-to-back birdies on No. 2 and No. 3, in the afternoon. Burns is tied for 66th after two rounds. Junior Garrison Hogan (+12) completed the Paladin slate, recording a 76 with a three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 No. 18 in round one then added an 80 with two birdies in Monday's final round to tie for 72nd.
Illinois State (-12) holds a five stroke lead over host Akron (-7). Cincinnati (-3) is in third place, followed by USC Aiken (+8) in fourth. Old Dominion (+12) completes the top five. Elliott Grayson (-8) of Akron and Cincinnati's Austin Squires (-8) are tied for the individual lead after each scored a 71-65=136 on Monday.
The 54-hole tournament concludes on Tuesday. Furman will tee off of No. 10 beginning at 9:15 a.m. and will play in a group with Temple and Bradley. Admission is free and fans are welcome. Results and live tournament scoring are available via www.FurmanPaladins.com and www.golfstat.com.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
14 Furman 303 295 598 +22
T19 Keller Harper 75 71 146 +2
T42 Hunter Nichols 75 75 150 +6
T60 Matt Lehman 77 76 153 +9
T66 Connor Bruns 81 73 154 +10
T72 Garrison Hogan 76 80 156 +12