LITCHFIELD, N.H.—First-year Vijay Vasandani (Cebu, Philippines) shot a two-over par 73 and senior Wesley Tryhane (Stamford, Conn.) backed him with a five-over par 76 as the Babson College men's golf team is tied with Springfield College atop the leaderboard after the First Round of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship hosted by Passaconaway Country Club.
The Beavers, who won last year's championship by 18 shots over Elms, are looking to win their third title in four seasons, and would be the first repeat champion in the NECC.
The Beavers and Pride each posted a first-day total of 308, while Elms College sits in third place, just two shots back, after coming in at 310. Newbury College fired a 335 and is in fourth place, eight shots clear of Becker College, which shot 343. The hosts, Daniel Webster College, are in sixth at 356, followed by Mitchell College at 384.
Vasandani went out in an even par 35 before coming home in two-over on the back nine on Passaconaway's par 71, 6,855 yard layout. He is tied atop the individual leaderboard with Springfield sophomore Adam Ziewancz (Simsbury, Conn.) and senior Phil Rurak (Wilbraham, Mass.) of Elms. The Blazers' Henry Fall (Harpswell, Maine) is in fourth place after firing a four-over 75, while Tryhane and sophomore Tom Vallaro (Somers, Conn.) of Springfield are tied for fifth place, just three shots back, after shooting 76.
First-year Chris Maguire (Waltham, Mass.) fired a season-low 79 for Babson and currently sits tied for ninth place while junior Kenny Chong (North Bergen, N.J.), an NECC Second Team All-Conference member a year ago, is tied for 11th-place after shooting an 80. The Beavers' Paul Caso (Amherst, N.H.) posted an 81 putting him in a tie for 14th-place.
Sophomore Nicholas Smith (Enfield, Conn.) of Elms and sophomore Adam Navarro (Stoneham, Mass.) of Newbury are also in the top-10 after shooting a 77 and 78 on Saturday, respectively. In breezy, and sometimes blustery conditions, 10 players were able to break 80 in Saturday's first round.
The final round will commence from the first tee tomorrow morning at 10:00a.m. with players going off in threesomes and foursomes. The 2012 conference champion will receive an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Division III Tournament to be played May 14-17 at the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort in Destin, Fla.
Daniel Webster 356
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS (Top 10)
Phil Rurak, Elms 38-35 (73)
Vijay Vasandani, Babson 35-38 (73)
Adam Ziewancz, Sprngfield 37-36 (73)
Henry Fall, Elms 35-40 (75)
Wesley Tryhane, Babson 38-38 (76)
Tom Vollaro, Sprngfield 34-42 (76)
Nicholas Smith, Elms 39-38 (77)
Adam Navarro, Newbury 36-42 (78)
Chris Vincent, Sprngfield 35-44 (79)
Chris Maguire, Babson 39-40 (79)