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Familiar leader

Sandhills CC leads NJCAA DIII championships

Jamestown Community College’s Brady Fye lines up a putt on the fifth green on the Lake Course at Chautauqua Golf Club on Tuesday during the opening round of the NJCAA Division III Golf Championships. Times Observer photo by Scott Kindberg

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Jamestown Community College sits at 10th place after the first round of the NJCAA Golf Championships on the Lake Course at Chautauqua Golf Club.

The Jayhawks shot a 343 Tuesday, six strokes out of seventh place. The top score for the Jamestown CC was turned in by sophomore Brady Fye, who carded an 82.

“It was a tough day. I didn’t hit it great, but not too much damage. It is a long week, so I have plenty of time,” Fye said.

Fye, who finished 19th overall last year, was followed by teammates Jackson Sandhoff and Athanasios Bakas, who shot 84 and 86 respectively.

“It was a little faster compared to the practice round,” Sandhoff said. “We will make some adjustments heading into day two. It was not too bad. I left some shots out there, and I could have gone a little lower today, but I know where I went wrong and will be ready the rest of the week,” said Sandhoff.

Added Bakas: “It was a bit rough. I started off with two doubles, but it was OK. If I can bring it back the next few days, we will be just fine.”

Maxim Johnson and Spencer Bell rounded out the JCC five-man group, each carding a 91.

A familiar name sits atop the team standings.

Sandhills (North Carolina) CC, shot a 3-over 291, which gives it a nine-shot lead over DuPage CC and Georgia Military College. The latter two schools are tied for second with a 12-over 300.

Leading the way for Sandhills CC, which is seeking its fourth straight national title, was Daniel Aitken, who was medalist with a 3-under 69. Aitken’s teammates — Ben Read (73), Liam Harris (74), Landon Cabingas (75) and Watcharakan Chankarn (77) — all shot in the 70s.

Gehrig Massey and Ross Tetrault of Georgia Military College are second and third after firing a 71 and 72 respectively. Hagan Rank of DuPage CC is tied with Read for fourth after they both carded a 73.

The weather for the first round was pristine, but things are expected to change drastically over the next day or two. This could play in the favor of the Jayhawks and the rest of Region 3, who fought through a tough regular season of cold, wet and windy days.

“Thankfully, we have a lot of experience playing in the cold and rain and wind. I think the team will be ready. We know what is coming, and we will make the adjustments,” Sandhoff said.

Noted Bakas: “We were joking earlier today that we shoot our best scores in the rain. We played in it a lot this year.”

As for advice, Fye said, “Just bring extra towels. That is about it.”

Tee times today for the Jayhawks, who will start on No. 1, are Johnson at 9:45 a.m., Bell at 10:03 a.m., Bakas at 10:12 a.m., Sandhoff at 10:21 a.m. and Fye at 10:30 a.m.

WOMEN

Ivy Burnett from the College of DuPage shot an 80 to pace the women, one shot in front of Ellia Soydara of Minnesota State Community and Technical College and Syndi Sundstrom of Lehigh Carbon CC, who are tied for second after they both carded an 81.

Others in the 16-person field who scored in the 80s were Haley Cassell of the College of DuPage (83), Megan Redig of Rock Valley College (85) and Ela Simpson of Anne Arundel CC (85).

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