Stallings Paces UK on Opening Day of Puerto Rico Classic

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – Junior Stephen Stallings and sophomore Tyler ‘Chip’ McDaniel capped the opening day of play at the Puerto Rico Classic under par to lead the Kentucky men’s golf team to a sixth place showing through the opening 18 holes of the three-day, 54-hole tournament. Stallings carded a 2-under par, 70, to pace the Wildcats who concluded the day with a 3-under par, 285, as a unit.

About the lineup:

Stallings was magnificent in the first round of play in the spring of 2016. The Louisville, Ky., native scored four birdies on the afternoon all of which came on the back half of the course. Stallings was 1-over par through the opening nine holes before turning in a 3-under par score on the back nine. Stallings finished the afternoon in a tie for 11th overall on the individual leaderboard. Stallings has already garnered three top-20 finishes on the year and is in prime position to turn in his fourth of the season.

McDaniel continued his strong play during his sophomore campaign with a 1-under par, 71. It is the ninth par-or-better round of the season for UK’s stroke-average leader. McDaniel is tied for 17th overall on the individual leaderboard through 18 holes of play. He posted a team-best five birdies on the day with four of them coming on the back nine. 

Sophomore Cooper Musselman and senior David Snyder finished their rounds at even par and are tied for 32nd. Musselman carded the best round of any Wildcat on the front nine with a 2-under score. He had a pair of birdies on back-to-back holes at No. 5 and No. 6. Snyder logged a pair of eagles on the day on the par-five No. 8 and the par-five No. 11. He led the entire field with a 6-under score on par-five holes.  

Freshman Fred Allen Meyer suited up for the Wildcats for the first time in 2015-16 on the opening day of the Puerto Rico Classic after fending off injuries throughout the fall. Meyer posted a 9-over par score, but posted his first birdie of the year on the par-five No. 8. His front nine featured a 3-over par score as he concluded the first half of the course on a positive note with a birdie and par before the turn. 

The Tournament Field:

The opening 18 holes saw eight teams record under-par scores. No. 7 Alabama leads the way with a 12-under score. Jonathan Hardee leads all individual players with a 5-under score through 18 holes. 

North Carolina registered a 10-under score which was good for second place. Oklahoma is in third at 7-under followed by Clemson (5-under), Georgia (4-under) and Kentucky (3-under). Georgia Tech and Purdue are tied for seventh with 2-under scores.

The Course: 

Set on the picturesque Caribbean coast, the Puerto Rico Classic will switch locations this year, and will be played at Rio Mar Beach and Spa Resort’s River Course in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Although the tournament began in 1999, this is the first year that Kentucky will be competing. 

Players will tee off with a shotgun start at 8 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 round and will conclude with 18 holes on Tuesday. Fans can follow along with live scoring here

Rio Mar Beach and Spa Resort's River Course
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Feb. 21-23
Par: 72
Yardage: 6,945

6 – Kentucky (285, -3)
T11 – Stephen Stallings (70, -2)
T17 – Tyler ‘Chip’ McDaniel (71, -1)
T32 – David Snyder (70, E)
T32 – Cooper Musselman (70, E)
T70 – Fred Allen Meyer (81, +9)

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