STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Daemen College opened up a big lead after day one of the 2012 USCAA Golf National Championships at the Penn State Blue Course on a chilly Monday in Central Pennsylvania. The Wildcats top a field of 19 teams, nine strokes better than second place Penn State Mont Alto and 11 ahead of defending champion Lindenwood-Belleville.
Daemen grabbed three of the top five individual finishers after day one, including frontrunner Eli Cobti who paced the pack of 112 players with a first day 74. His lead currently sits at one stroke, as teammate Kyle Kapturowski, Mont Alto's Chase King and Apprentice School's Kyle Mutter chase Cobti after finishing at 3-over 75. Daemen's Steve Wrzochul sits alone in fifth with a first round 76, one stroke better than a group that includes USCAA scoring leaders Ben Hunter of the Apprentice School and Justin Robinson of of five tied at 5-over 77.
A cluster of teams sits within eight strokes of second place Mont Alto, as defending champion Lindenwood-Belleville claimed third after the first day of the two day championships. NHTI shot 319, while perennial contender Rochester College finished seventeen back of Daemen, shooting 321 on an overcast and brisk morning.
Mont Alto's Adam Poulson and NHTI's Andy Levins also finished in the pack at 5-over 77, along with Reynold Brown of Maine-Presque Isle to round out the top 10 after day one.
Day two of the USCAA Golf National Championships is set for a 9:00 a.m. shotgun start on Tuesday, Oct. 9 on the Blue Course.