DURANT, Okla. - Zach James posted eight birdies and posted a first-round score of four-under to pace Southeastern which finished with a first-round score of 294 and is in ninth place heading into the second round at the NCAA National Championship at Robert Trent Jones at the Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
James offset two bogeys and a double with his eight birdies and carded a 68 in the opening round, playing himself into a tie for second, two shots behind the leader John VanDerLaan from Florida Southern.
The Savage Storm are one shot out of eighth place, with the top eight teams advancing to the match play championship at the conclusion of the stroke play portion of the tournament, trailing Missouri-St. Louis 294 to 293.
SE is 15 shots off the leaders pace as West Florida turned in a 279 in the opening round.
Hayden Foster was next in for the Storm, carding an even par 72, sinking three birdies over the final six holes to offset a bogey and a double bogey to finish the day tied for 25th.
Sam Berry and Ryan Woods reached the same total of 77 in the first round and are tied for 69th. Berry was three over on the front nine and finished two over on the back, while Woods got off to a slow start at five-over on the front and played the back at even par.
Jordan Holifield was a shot behind that pair with a 78, shooting four over on the front and two over on the back to check in tied for 82nd.
Woods will open play for SE at noon on the 10th hole, followed by Holifield at 12:11 p.m., Berry at 12:22 p.m., Foster at 12:33 p.m., and finally James at 12:44 p.m.