by Tyler Peck, sports information graduate assistant
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. - The preseason No. 1 ranked Georgia College & State University golf team sits atop the leaderboard after the first round of the Kiawah Island Invitational at the par-72, 6875-yard Cougar Point Golf Course, holding a one-stroke advantage over the field.
The Bobcats fired a three-over 291 on the first day of play and were led by junior Billy Shida (Berkeley Lakes, Ga.) who shot a one-under 71 and stands alone in third place. Shida is tops among Peach Belt Conference (PBC) competitors.
Georgia College edges the University of Indianapolis by a stroke. The University of North Alabama's 293 puts them at third, with Belmont Abbey College and PBC foe Armstrong Atlantic State University tied at fourth with rounds of 296.
Bobcat senior Francisco Bide (Buenos Aires, Argentina) is tied at fourth carding an even-par 72. Classmate Niclas Johansson (Skanor, Sweden) and junior Joe Young (Cochran, Ga.) both fired 74s on the course designed by Gary Player. Junior Matthew Yonz (Waycross, Ga.) was just outside of the Bobcats' top four, shooting a 76.
The final round tees off tomorrow morning, as the Bobcats will look to improve upon last year's third-place finish.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Georgia College prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.