The Jacksonville State men's golf team got an early start to the 2016 Ohio Valley Conference Championship on Monday and made the best of it.
The Gamecocks took to the par-72 Fighting Joe Course at The Shoals on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail before the afternoon winds picked up and posted a 290 that would give them the lead by the time the day was over.
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Sophomore Daniel Pico led the way for JSU with a 2-under 70 that ahs him in second in the 55-player field. All five Gamecocks are in the Top 10 after the first of three days on the 7,258-yard layout, and they hold a three-shot lead over UT Martin in the 11-team event.
Pico, a native of Bucaramanga, Colombia, made the turn at 2-under and then bounced back from two early bogeys on the back to birdie two of the final three holes. He is just one back of UTM's Hunter Richardson, whose opening-round 69 has him atop the individual leaderboard.
Pico played the par fives at 2-under and was 1-under on the par threes on Monday to pace his round.
JSU started its day at 8:50 a.m. and was in the clubhouse while the later groups made the turn and fought the afternoon winds.
Juniors Camilo Aguado and Jamie Mist each turned in a 1-over 73 and are tied for sixth after Monday's round. Aguado, a Mexico City, Mexico, native, was even on the front and played the final seven holes at 1-under. A Hayling Island, England, native, Mist was also even on the front nine and used a pair of late birdies to pace his round.
Junior Pablo Torres and freshman Benedikt Thalmayr are tied for ninth after each carding a 2-over 74. A pair of birdies and two bogeys on the front had Torres even at the turn, while Thalmayr rallied for an even-par 36 on the back to secure his spot in the Top 10.
The Gamecocks will be paired with UTM and Murray State in Tuesday's second round and will begin play at 10:30 a.m.
(Courtesy: JSU Sports Information)