Wilmington Golfers Led by Mafale’s One Under 70, Sit in 15th after One Day at NCAA National Championships
Monday, May 20, 2013 - Hershey, Pa.
Click Image to Enlarge
Senior Nick Mafale hits a perfect shot out of the greenside bunker on 18, sinking the putt to save par. He finished with a one under 70 on day one of the NCAA Championship. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Senior PJ Tighe sinks a birdie putt on the par four ninth, finishing day one at the NCAA Championship with a 73, two over par first round score. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Senior Nick Mafale’s one under par first round 70 not only leads the Wilmington University golf team on the first day of the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf National Championship, it has him in a tie for fifth overall in helping the team to a 15th position on the leaderboard on Monday at the Hershey Country Club.
Mafale was only one of eight players to shoot under par on Monday, trailing the overall leader by two strokes. Barry’s Adam Svensson leads the tournament with a 68, three under par. Grand Canyon’s Jimy Kozikowski, Lynn’s Roberto Francioni, and Florida Southern’s Case Gard each shot a two under par 69, while three other players tied Mafale with a one under score.
The senior from Street, Md., caught fire around the turn as the Wildcats started the National Championship during Monday’s morning tee with the first hole. He birdied the par five sixth before holing a birdie putt on the par four ninth to make the turn at one over par 37. Mafale then made it three straight birdies with a sub score on 10 and 11 to get under par on the day. He followed that up with a birdie on the par five 14th to get as low as two under par on the afternoon. After a hiccup on the par three 16th, Mafale saved par getting up and out of the green side bunker on 18, sinking the par putt to finish with a 70.
Classmate PJ Tighe battled through the tough back nine with three bogeys and a birdie on the par five 14th to finish with a 73, two over par on the afternoon. He also birdied the third hole, and finished the front nine at even par, hitting the birdie putt to make the turn at 36. Tighe is currently sitting in a tie for 23rd overall.
Junior Jerry Temple bogeyed seven holes in his first round to finish at a seven over par, 78 for his first round of the tournament. He bogeys four holes on the tougher front nine, before coming home with a three over score on the back.
Rounding out the Wilmington scoring on Monday was junior Tomasz Pulsakowski who battle through a rough back nine, recording eight bogeys but birdying the par five 14th to finish at a plus seven back nine. Pulsakowski shot an 83, 12 over par on Monday.
Junior Andrew Baldo also battled through a tough back nine, shooting a seven over 42 on the final nine holes, coming in at 13 over par 84 to round out the Wildcat golfers.
The team scored a 304 for the first round, trailing overall leader Barry by 20 strokes. Barry’s top for golfers shot a 284 even par on Monday to lead the pack by six strokes. Wilmington is currently seven strokes out of eighth place, the cutoff line to advance to the quarterfinals.
Mafale finished third among the 108 golfers on the 11 par four holes, averaging 3.91 strokes per hole, finishing one under on the afternoon on par four scoring. He was also third for the round with five birdies.
The Wildcats continue the National Championship with the second round on Tuesday, but will switch tee times and not start the round until 12:50 p.m. on the back nine. They will continue to be paired with Central Oklahoma (T7, 297 first round) and Columbus State (T7, 297 first round), with Tighe finishing off the tee times at 1:30 p.m.
Continue to follow the Wildcats LIVE during their run to a National Championship at http://www.golfstatresults.com/public/index.cfm?tournament_id=3668.