FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga.—Three players finished under par as the Babson College men's golf team posted its lowest 18-hole score in over a decade to grab a share of third place after the opening round of the Royal Lakes-Oglethorpe Invitational on Monday at Royal Lakes Golf and Country Club.
Senior Chris Bornhorst (West Newton, Mass.) match his career low with a 5-under par 67, sophomore Nicholas Gianelos (West Chester, Pa.) fired a 4-under 68 to match the best score of his collegiate career, and classmate Burt Gesner (Severna Park, Md.) carded a career-best 2-under 70 for the Beavers, who sit at 6-under after posting a 282 total in the opening round.
Babson, which shared last year's tournament crown with Greensboro, enters Tuesday's final round even with the host Stormy Petrels, who are ranked 12th in the most recent Golf Coaches Association of America Division III poll. No. 13 Hampden-Sydney finished day one at 10-under, while fifth-ranked Guilford is two shots off the lead in second place with an 8-under total of 280.
Seven of the 18 teams in the tournament finished under par on Monday, and half the field is within 11 shots of the lead entering Tuesday's final round.
Bornhorst is one of three players tied for second place just one shot off the lead. After bogeying the 14th hole, his fifth of the day, he played his final 13 holes in 6-under par, which included an eagle on the 496-yard par-5 third and his fourth birdie of the day on the short par-4 sixth hole.
Gianelos got off to a fast start with four birdies on the back nine and another at No. 1, his 10th hole of the day, to get to 5-under par. He made another birdie at the sixth hole and bogeyed the fourth and seventh holes to grab a share of fifth place while posting his second consecutive round of 68
Only one player in the field made more birdies in the first round than Gesner, who made the turn at 1-over before posting birdies on four of the first six holes on the front nine. For the day he made seven birdies on the way to breaking par for the first time in his collegiate career and is one of five players tied for 14th position.
Junior Reed Wilson (Redlands, Calif.) and first-year Jackson Rothwell (Victoria British, Columbia) both shot 77 on Monday and sit at 5-over par. Wilson struggled on his opening nine before rebounding to play his final 10 holes in 2-under, while Rothwell steadied himself following a triple bogey on the 15th with birdies on the first and third holes before giving three shots back late in the round.
Babson will begin final round play off the first tee on Tuesday morning at 8:59 a.m.
• The Beavers' team total of 282 was their low score of the season by six strokes, and one shot lower than their final round score of 283 at Middlebury back in 2017.
• Bornhorst's round of 67 matches the low score by a Babson golfer going back to 1992. He also joins Kyle Alexander '18 as the only other player over the last three decades to finish an 18-hole round at 5-under par.
• Babson's first round total of 282 is nine shots better than last year's first round score at Royal Lakes Golf and Country Club. The Green and White and Greensboro would go on to tie for the tournament crown with a 36-hole total of 584.
• This week's 18-team field features five nationally-ranked programs and six other teams that are receiving votes in the most recent GCAA Division III poll.