PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico- The North Texas men’s golf team opened the 2008 season Sunday, hosting the first two rounds of the North Texas/GADO Classic in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The Mean Green shot a two-round team score of 589 to finish the day in ninth place. North Texas is 23 strokes behind Louisiana-Lafayette, which took the clubhouse lead after day one with a team score of 566.
Senior Cole Howard and sophomore Dustin Thompson paced the Mean Green in the first two rounds, with each combining for a two-round score of 146. They are both six shots off the lead which is held by Jose Toledo of New Orleans and Kyle Nicolson of Cal State Northridge.
Both Howard and Thompson shot even-par 72 in their first round and two-over par 74 in their second. Senior Anthony Broussard rebounded with an even-par 72 in the second round after struggling with a 78 in the first. Senior Ben Smock shot 75, 76 to finish the day with a 151 while senior Raul Lemus shot 81, 72 to finish with a 153.
“We need to be more consistent tomorrow in the final round,” head coach Jim Bob Jackson said. “We had four different players shoot even par, but couldn’t put two good rounds together. Being this early in the season I am happy in the potential that I see and I think we will become more consistent as the season goes on.”
The Mean Green led the field in par-5 scoring, with an average score of 4.72. As a team, North Texas was 11 under par on par-5 holes which was three strokes better than its next-closest competitor.
Louisiana-Lafayette has a 13-stroke lead on second place Washington. North Texas is two strokes behind eighth-place Troy and three strokes behind seventh place Middle Tennessee. The final round of 18 holes will begin Monday at 8 a.m. (CST).
This is the third annual North Texas/GADO Classic, which is co-hosted by the University of North Texas and GADO, which is an amateur golf association regionally based in the western part of Mexico.
There are 14 American universities playing in this year’s tournament in addition to three Mexican amateur teams. This is the first year that the tournament is being played at the 6,853-yard, par-72 Flamingos Golf Club in Puerto Vallarta.