GASTONIA, N.C.- Senior Raul Pereda fired off his eighth round of under-70 golf of the season to kick off play at the 2018 Gary Koch Invitational. The no. 44 golfer in the nation leads the five-man team for the Jacksonville University men's golf team after two rounds of play in the Carolinas, sitting in a five-way tie for 10th place (-4, 69+71=140).
After the team's first-ever action at the par 72, 7042-yard course at the Gaston Country Club, The Dolphins sit in 8th place out of 13 competitors. JU compiled an eight-over, 584 (293+291), sliding three places during the second round of play, which took place under partly cloudy conditions and temperatures in the mid-50's.
Monday's competition, which marked the beginning of the final tournament for JU before taking part in the 2018 ASUN Championship, proved to be a special one for sophomore Eduardo Carrete. The El Campanario, Mexico native claimed a personal-best on the seventh hole his second time through, carding his first-ever eagle as a Dolphin on a par-5. Carrete (even, 71+73=144) sits in a six-way knot for 24th place entering day two, and joins Pereda, who eagled in the first round, as River City competitors to do so on the seventh hole in the event.
Senior Elliott Fullalove concluded day one tied for 49th, shooting five-over 149 (76+73), which included five birdies. Freshman Aaeri Krishnan (seven-over 151, 75+76) and Michael Sakane (nine-over 153, 77+76) ended their days in ties for 55th and 62nd, respectively.
The opening day of the Gary Koch Invitational was dominated by host schools no. 11 Auburn and no. 28 Kentucky, who shot 27-under and 21-under respectively to pull away from the competition. Senior Trace Crowe of Auburn, who took home individualist honors at last year's event, shot a 63 on the second 18-holes to finish 12-under on the day. Additional excitement came when Coastal Carolina's Jonathan Goth-Rasmussen launched a hole-in-one on the par-3, 228 yard 8th hole in round two.
Jacksonville resumes play tomorrow with a double-tee start from hole one, beginning at 7:45 a.m. The Dolphins will be paired with seventh and ninth place teams Louisiana-Monroe and Gardner-Webb.
Jacksonville Day 2 Tee Times: