Peterson Leads SEC Golf Tournament After Day 1

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
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Peterson Leads SEC Golf Tournament After Day 1

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – After firing an opening-round 2-under par 68, senior All-American and Ben Hogan Award candidate John Peterson has jumped out to an early individual lead while guiding LSU into a tie for fifth place following Friday’s action at the 2011 SEC Men’s Golf Championships being held this weekend at the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club.

The No. 8-ranked Tigers posted a team score of 12-over 292 for the afternoon to finish the first round in a three-way tie for fifth place with No. 10 Auburn and No. 14 Georgia.

LSU is just seven shots out of the lead as the No. 6-ranked Florida Gators have taken the early lead for the race for the team championship after firing an opening-round 5-over 285. Arkansas and Tennessee follow one shot behind in second place at 6-over 286, while Alabama is in fourth place overall at 11-over 291.

LSU fans are certainly familiar with the last Tiger star to claim the SEC individual championship as PGA Tour great David Toms accomplished the feat during his sophomore season in 1987.

With his performance on Friday afternoon, Peterson has put himself in a position to contend for the crown in 2011 as his 2-under 68 has given him a narrow one-stroke lead over the 1-under 69 fired by Florida’s Phillip Choi, Georgia’s Bryden MacPherson and Tennessee’s Robin Wingardh. Three golfers are also just two shots back in a tie for fifth place after opening with rounds of even-par 70.

Peterson was brilliant while playing the difficult Seaside Course as he carded five birdies on the afternoon en route to a 68, while firing a 2-under 33 on the front nine and an even-par 35 on the back nine.

The Fort Worth native got off to a quick start after carding back-to-back birdies on the par-four fourth and fifth holes en route to a flawless front nine that also featured seven pars. Peterson followed on the back by mixing three birdies, three pars and three bogeys for an even-par on the side and 2-under 68 for the round.

Senior All-American Andrew Loupe posted a 3-over 73 in the opening round to wrap up the round in a tie for 21st place, while junior Sang Yi added a 4-over par 74 toward LSU’s team total to finish the afternoon in the tie for 27th place on the SEC Championships individuals leaderboard. Rounding up the team scoring for the first round was freshman Andrew Presley, who carded a 7-over 77 to tie for 51st place.

In his third career SEC Championships start, senior Clayton Rotz opened with a 14-over 84 to end the day in 60th place overall as the Tigers opened with their team score of 12-over 292.

The Tigers are paired with Kentucky and South Carolina in Saturday’s second round as the teams will tee off from the back nine beginning at 7 a.m. CDT. Live scoring of the event is provided by Golfstat and can be found online by logging on to www.golfstat.com.

2011 SEC MEN’S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS – FIRST ROUND RESULTS

TEAM SCORES (Par 280)
1. Florida 285 +5; T2. Arkansas 286 +6; T2. Tennessee 286 +6; 4. Alabama 291 +11; T5. LSU 292 +12; T5. Auburn 292 +12; T5. Georgia 292 +12; 8. Kentucky 293 +13; 9. South Carolina 294 +14; T10. Mississippi State 299 +19; T10. Vanderbilt 299 +19; 12. Ole Miss 303 +23.

TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 70)
1. John Peterson, LSU, 68 -2; T2. Phillip Choi, Florida, 69 -1; T2. Bryden MacPherson, Georgia, 69 -1; T2. Robin Wingardh, Tennessee, 69 -1; T5. Axel Boasson, Mississippi State, 70 E; T5. Andres Echavarria, Florida, 70 E; T5. Jamie Marshall, Arkansas, 70 E; T8. Wesley Bryan, South Carolina, 71 +1; T8. Niclas Carlsson, Auburn, 71 +1; T8. Hunter Hamrick, Alabama, 71 +1; T8. Russell Henley, Georgia, 71 +1; T8. Danny Keddie, Tennessee, 71 +1; T8. Stephen Powers, Kentucky, 71 +1; T8. Ethan Tracy, Arkansas, 71 +1.

LSU SCORES
1. John Peterson, 68 -2
T21. Andrew Loupe, 73 +3
T27. Sang Yi, 74 +4
T51. Andrew Presley, 77 +7
60. Clayton Rotz, 84 +14