MACON, Ga. (School Release) - Mercer junior James Beale overcame a rocky start on day one of the Brickyard Collegiate Golf Championship, battling his way to a an even-par 72 and Mercer's top finish in the opening round at the Brickyard at Riverside. Beale's 72 helped the Bears complete round one with a team score of 296, slotting the squad tenth on the team leaderboard.
Mercer's 296 positions the team just one stroke behind Augusta State for ninth place and three strokes ahead of Oklahoma. Georgia leads the field with a score of 280 after 18 holes, while North Florida (283), Princeton (286), Kansas (268), and Georgia Tech (289) rounded out the top five teams.
Beale, who came into Friday's first round battling an arm injury, bogeyed two of his first three holes. After carding a five on the par-four third hole, Beale strung together five-straight pars before capping his front nine with a birdie on the 477-yard par-five ninth hole.
Beale's first birdie of the day got him rolling, as continued his round with eight straight pars before birdieing the par-five 18th hole. His final putt leveled his score at 72 and placed him in a tie for 19th place individually.
Junior Hans Reimers shot 73 on day one and is tied for 24th place overall, while sophomore Trey Rule carded a 75 and is tie for 45th. Senior Thomas Holmes needed 76 strokes and is tied for 53rd, while freshman Jeffrey Heinicka, Jr. shot 78 and is tied for 67th.
Senior Alex Street booked a 77 to lead Mercer's individual players and is tied for 58th. Senior John Gregory Joseph came in a 78 and is tied for 67th, and Michael Hirthler used 82 strokes and is in 80th place.
Saturday's second round is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. with a fixed start.