HAWORTH, N.J. - - The Wilmington University golf team shot a 308 (+20) in the first round of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championship on Monday, sitting in second place overall and in the hunt for the title at the White Beeches Golf & Country Club.
The Wildcats only trail Goldey-Beacom with one round remaining, but the Lightning have a 10-stroke buffer over the Wildcats with 18 holes to play. The Wildcats are going for their ninth CACC Championship in the last 10 years.
Wilmington was led by junior Enrique Valverde's 75 on Monday, sitting in sixth place overall at three-over par. He sank a birdie putt on the par four seventh to get back to even par for the round, but a three-hole stretch saw him go to four-over after 11 holes. Another birdie putt on the par four 16th brought him back down to three-over, where he finished with his 75 (+3). Valverde is tied for third overall in the tournament with 12 pars, and tied for fourth overall by going even for the day on the three par-three holes.
Freshman Tyler Cleaves finished right behind Valverde with a 76 (+4), and is in a tie for seventh overall. He is tied for the lead in the tournament with 13 pars, while also shooting even-par on the three par three holes. He also came one-under par on the three par-five holes. His day didn't get off to a great start, as he started his first Championship with a bogey, double-bogey, to sit at +3 after two holes. He sank a birdie putt on the par five 11th hole to get back to three over, but bogey on the par four 15th, followed by three pars brought him in with a 76.
Senior Jack Dixon got off to a hot start before a cold finish has him in a tie for ninth with a 77 (+5) after the first round. Dixon birdied the par four second and made the turn at even-par. He then birdied the par five 11th hole, and was even after 14 holes on the day. But a bogey, double, bogey, bogey finish brought Dixon in with his 77. Dixon is also tied for second in the tournament with a one-under total on the par-five holes.
Senior Arvy Shongwe was the final scorer for the Wildcats on Monday, posting an 80 (+8) and is in a tie for 21st overall. Shongwe birdied the par five 11th and the par four 13th to get back to four-over par, but four straight bogeys to close the round pushed his score out to an 80.
Braden McKay closed out the Wildcats on the course on Monday, shooting an 86 (+14) in the first round, sitting in a tie for 38th overall.
Goldey-Beacom's Pablo Saenz Avila leads the tournament with a 70 (-2) round on Monday while Chestnut Hill's Shawn Mayer is in second place with a 72 (E). Post rounds out the top three on the leaderboard with a 310 (+22).
The Wildcats will be joined by Post and Goldey-Beacom in the final pairings for the second round on Tuesday. They will begin teeing off from the first hole at approximately 9:40 a.m.