BREWSTER, Mass.—First-year Sean Fitzgerald (West Newton, Mass.) matched his low round of the fall and all five competitors for 20th-ranked Babson College are within three shots of the individual lead as the Beavers built a 10-shot advantage on Sunday in the first round of the 85th New England Intercollegiate Golf Association (NEIGA) Championship at the Captains Golf Course.
The Green and White posted a 3-over total of 291 on the par-72, 6,610-yard Port Course, while second-place Johnson & Wales sits at 13-over 301 after day one. Springfield is third at 312 and Husson and Nichols are tied for fourth at 314.
Fitzgerald is tied for second overall after matching his low round of the fall with an even-par 72. He made two front-nine birdies and overcame a triple-bogey at the par-3 11th hole with an eagle on the par-5 13th and his third birdie of the day at the par-4 16th.
Senior Chris Bornhorst (West Newton, Mass.), junior Reed Wilson (Redlands, Calif.) and sophomore Nicholas Gianelos (West Chester, Pa.) sit in a three-way tie for fifth place just two shots back of the leader, Matt Daley of Johnson & Wales, after finishing at 1-over 73 on Sunday. Bornhorst birdied the 12th and 13th holes to get to 1-under on his round before giving two shots back with a double-bogey on the 14th.
Gianelos made his second birdie of the day at the par-5 18th hole, while Wilson overcame a slow start by playing his final 10 holes in 3-under par. He started the back nine with a birdie on the par-4 10th hole and made eagle at the par-5 13th.
First-year Jackson Rothwell (Victoria, British Columbia) came through with a back-nine charge to with a 2-over 74 that has him tied for eighth place. He birdied three of his first six holes and was 2-under walking to the seventh tee, but gave back seven shots over the next five holes and walked off the 11th green at 5-over.
Rothwell responded with back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13, and made his sixth birdie of the day at the par-4 16th hole to get back to 2-over.
Babson begins final round play on the Starboard Course on Monday at 10 a.m.
• The Beavers, who won last year's title by one shot, are looking to become the first repeat winners at the NEIGA Championship since Rhode Island College, which won back-to-back in 2014 and 2015.
• Babson's 291 on Sunday is its lowest 18 hole team score at the Captains Course over the last decade.
• The Beavers have held the overnight lead in three of its first six tournaments this fall, and owns one victory and one runner-up finish when ahead entering the final round.