McDaniel Leads Wildcats on Opening Day of Tiger Invitational

AUBURN Ala. – Sophomores Tyler ‘Chip’ McDaniel and Cooper Musselman capped the opening day of play at the Tiger Invitational at par or better to lead the Kentucky men’s golf team to a tie for fifth place through the opening 18 holes of the three-day, 54-hole tournament hosted by Auburn University. McDaniel led the Wildcats with a 1-under par, 71, to pace the team who concluded the day with a 6-over, 291, as a unit.

What Head Coach Brian Craig is saying:

"We had a horrible start, played well after that but did not quite finish it off.  We just had too many high numbers today to make it a competitive round but we are still in fine shape. Just need a good round tomorrow to get right back into it."

About the lineup:

McDaniel shined in the first round of play on Sunday, recovering from a rough start at the beginning of the day. The Manchester, Ky., native posted six birdies on the afternoon after opening the first three holes with bogeys. McDaniel was 3-over par on the fifth hole before turning in a 4-under par score the rest of the way to finish at 1-under total for the day. He finished the afternoon in a tie for sixth on the individual leaderboard. McDaniel continues his strong sophomore campaign with 11 par or better rounds this season.

Musselman wraps up the first round of play at the Tiger Invitational with an even score, tying for 12th place on the individual leaderboard through 18 holes of play. He posted five birdies on the day with three of them coming on the back nine.

Senior David Snyder and junior Stephen Stallings finished their rounds at 3-over, 75, and 4-over, 76, respectively. An up-and-down day for both, Snyder contributed six birdies, helping him tie for 38th individually. Stallings started off strong with three birdies in the opening nine, before finishing the day tied for 47th place on the individual leaderboard. 

Coming off a Co-Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week accolade, Fred Allen Meyer ended day one with a 5-over, 77. Meyer is tied for 57th on the individual leaderboard as the team looks forward to day two of the tournament. Sophomore Chris Meuth is playing as an individual and fired a 6-over, 78, in round one. He logged a birdie on No. 9 to highlight his day.

The Tournament Field:

The opening 18 holes saw only one team with an under-par score. No. 4 Auburn leads the way with a 3-under score. Matt Gilchrest leads the individual leaderboard after the first round with a 4-under score through 18 holes. 

Troy registered a 2-over score which was good for second place. Kennesaw State is tied for third with Minnesota, both at 3-over, followed by Kentucky and Mississippi State, both 6-over on the day.

The Course:

Set on the 600-acre Lake Saugahatchee, the Grand National Lake Course will be home to the Tiger Invitational again this year. Grand National has been the location for the Tiger Invitational every year since its inaugural tournament in 2013, and is also host to the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship in July. Kentucky returns to the tournament after competing once before in the 2012-13 season. 

Players will tee off with a shotgun start at 7:45 a.m. ET on Monday for the second round of the 54-hole event. Teams will be paired based on the results from the first rounds and will conclude with 18 holes on Tuesday. 
Fans can follow along with the action here.

Grand National Lake Course
Auburn, Ala. 
March 6-8
Par: 72
Yardage: 7,149

T5 – Kentucky (294, +6) 
T-6 – Chip McDaniel (71, -1)
T-12 – Cooper Musselman (72, E)
T-38 – David Snyder (75, +3)
T-47 – Stephen Stallings (76, +4)
T-57 – Fred Allen Meyer (77, +5)
*T-68 – Chris Meuth (78, +6)

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