Reigning champion Siena Men’s Golf teed off its title defense in impressive fashion Friday in the First Round of the 2017 MAAC Golf Championships at Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The Saints hold the clubhouse lead through the first 18 of 54 holes, and freshman Jake Holt also sits tied atop the individual leaderboard.
“There’s so many teams that are in the hunt, so it should be an exciting next few days,” said head coach Steven Jensen. “The weather is looking great, and the course is playing well.”
Siena fired a First Round score of 309 to emerge atop a crowded leaderboard in which the top-seven teams are separated by just six strokes. The Saints hold a three-shot advantage over Monmouth, a four-stroke margin over Iona, Rider and Saint Peter’s, and are five clear of both Fairfield and Manhattan.
“For the most, I was pleased with how we played today,” explained Jensen. “We just seemed to struggle on the greens though, but we’ll fix that and be ready to go tomorrow.”
Holt recorded four birdies and added 11 pars to card a 74 in his first-ever MAAC Championship round. He stands tied with Saint Peter’s Ryan Rodriguez for the individual lead at +2.
“That’s why I recruited Jake – to be in contention in the MAAC each and every year,” commented Jensen. “He’s a strong player, and that’s what he brings to our team.”
Junior Michael Christifulli added nine pars and three birdies in firing a 77 to sit three strokes off the lead, while sophomore Tanner Donovan rounded out Siena’s leaders with eight pars and a pair of birdies in shooting 78.
The Saints will tee off Second Round action Saturday beginning from the 10th hole at 9 a.m. Siena is in the final grouping, and will be paired with Monmouth and Rider on moving day.