CONCORD, N.H. - - A pair of Wilmington University golf members tied atop the leaderboard in the first round of the Penmen Spring Invitational on Friday, leading the Wildcats to a fourth place finish as Saturday's second round was postponed at the Beaver Meadow Golf Course.
Senior Ryan Rucinski and sophomore Enrique Valverde both shot a round of 70 (-2) on Friday, tying with three other student-athletes on the course atop the leaderboard. The five scores of 70 were deemed a tie for first place, with the second round on Saturday being postponed due to weather.
Rucinski started on the 15th hole and birdied the 18th for his first score of the day. He then birdied the first and second holes, but a bogey on the par three sixth brought him back to two-under par. Rucinski got that stroke back on the par four seventh, sinking a second-shot eagle to get to four under par. He also birdied the par five 10th to get a to day's low five-under par, but a triple bogey on his final hole of the day brought him back to two-under par for the round.
His eagle on the par four seventh was the 10th eagle of his career, breaking the Wilmington all-time mark set by Dan Ott from 2010-12.
Enrique Valverde also had an eagle on the day, but his came late in the round to get him to two-under par for the day. Starting on the 14th hole, Valverde started with seven pars before sinking a birdie putto n the par three third. But a bogey on the par four fifth brought him back to even before he hit an eagle shot on the par four 12th.
Braden McKay's day started with three straight birdies, but a back-to-back double and triple bogey set his round back. He finished in a time for 39th overall. Jack Dixon had five bogeys and a double bogey to finish with his 79, coming in a tie for 45th overall. Matthew Kettleson had four bogeys, a double and a triple bogey for his 81, coming in a tie for 54th overall.
Arvy Shongwe shot a 76 (+4) and finishing in a tie for 27th overall.
Franklin Pierce won the tournament with a 289 (+1), while Southern New Hampshire and St. Thomas Aquinas finished in a tie for second with scores of 290 (+2).
The Wildcats will have one more tournament to improve their rankings for the postseason. They will travel to Crofton, Maryland to compete in the Cal U Coaches Intercollegiate Classic on Monday and Tuesday, hosted by California (Pa.).