April 24, 2006
WEST POINT, Miss. - Tulane sophomore Michael Birtel fired a two-under par 70 Monday to lead the Green Wave men's golf team after the first round of the Conference USA Men's Golf Championship. Birtel stands tied for 11th at the par 72, 7,000 yard Old Waverly Golf Course.
The Conference USA Championship is the final competition of the year for the Green Wave men's golf team, one of eight programs suspended by the university beginning next year in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Playing with a short roster of just four players and forced to count all four scores, Tulane shot a team score of 308 and trails 11th place Marshall by six strokes.
Birtel is tied for 11th with four other players, four strokes behind individual leaders Kevin Fortin-Simard of Memphis and Colt Knost of SMU, who each shot six-under par 66 on the day. Brad Benjamin of Memphis is third at five-under 67 and Kevin Newman of Houston shot four-under par 68. Birtel, whose round included one of four eagles posted on the day, is just one stroke behind a large group of six players who are tied for fifth at three-under 69.
Sophomore Braden List was the number two scorer for the Green Wave Monday as he posted a score of three-over par 75 and is tied for 39th. Freshman Sean Madgett came in at seven-over par 79.
Memphis took the lead in the team competition after the first round with a team score of 12-under par 276. They are two strokes ahead of SMU with Tulsa and Houston tied for third at 285, seven strokes back. Rice and UAB are one stroke behind in a tie for fifth place.
The tournament continues Tuesday and Wednesday with 18 holes each day.
1. Memphis 276 (-12); 2. SMU 278 (-10), 3. Tulsa and Houston 285 (-3); 5. Rice and UAB 286 (-2); 7. UCF 288 (E); 8. UTEP 291 (+3); 9. Southern Miss 292 (+4); 10. East Carolina 296 (+8); 11. Marshall 302 (+14); 12. Tulane 308 (+20).
1.Kevin Fortin-Sinard, Memphis and Colt Knost, SMU 66 (-6); 3. Brad Benjamin, Memphis 67 (-5); 4. Kevin Newman, Houston 68 (-4); 5. Six players tied at 69 (-3).
-- Roll Wave --