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Eagles stumble in first round at regional

    AUSTIN, Tex. — Steven Fisk shot a 69 to lead the Georgia Southern men’s golf team, and the Eagles are in 10th after Monday’s first round of regional play at the NCAA Championships at UT Golf Club.
    Texas (-7) leads the field after firing a 277 on its home course, and Ole Miss (-2) was the only other team to shoot under par, putting the Rebels in second. Oklahoma State (+3), the top seed in the region is third, while Iowa State (+6), Arizona State and NC State are tied for fourth. Georgia Southern (+11) is five shots back of that trio and a stroke ahead of Kansas (+12).
    The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the national championships to be played May 26-31, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
    Fisk is tied for sixth with three others. Jake Storey and Archer Price each shot 73 and are tied for 24th. Cody O’Toole recorded an 80, and Brett Barron shot an 81.
    Georgia Southern tied for second with 16 birdies as a team in today’s round. The Eagles, who teed off on the 10th hole, got off to a good start and were fourth as they headed to the 18th hole at 2-under. But two approaches found the water, and the par-4 hole, which played 515 yards today, got the best of them as the counters played it 6-over.
    Fisk bogeyed his first hole of the day before going on a tear and playing the next 13 holes 4-under with birdies on holes 11, 13, 2 and 4. The sophomore, who led the field in par-3 scoring, birdied hole 8 and finished his day with a par after hitting out of a fairway bunker to within 12 feet of the hole on 9.
    Price logged all of his four birdies on his first seven holes and made the turn 2-under. Storey matched Fisk for the team lead in birdies with five, but the junior stumbled on the last hole of each side when wayward tee shots found woods on the left side of the fairway. He was 1-under through his first eight holes and even heading into the final hole of the day.
    “This is a very tough course. It has a lot of length but still demands a lot of accuracy off the tee," GS coach Carter Collins said. "It forces you to hit driver, and you have to hit it straight and you have to have a good iron game as well. The putting surfaces aren't has slopey as some of the places we've played this spring so once you get on the green, it's not as hard, but getting there is a good task.
    “We did a lot of really good things today. Steven had a 69 on this course, which is incredible, Archer played tremendous golf all day and Jake played tremendous golf all day. We were just one score away from being well up the leaderboard so we're very close, and we feel confident that our fourth and fifth score will be much better tomorrow.”
    The second round is slated for today, and the Eagles, who are paired with Kansas and McNeese State, will tee off the 10th hole at 9:55 a.m.