I am very happy," Auburn coach Mike Griffin said after Thursday's round. "We didn't shoot ourselves out of it. That's the last thing you want to do in the first round. The second round is moving day and we need to move in the right direction."
Playing in rainy conditions for all 18 holes, the Tigers counted rounds of 71 from seniors Steven Groover and Patton Kizzire and a 72 from senior Gordon Strother.
Senior Jay Moseley, Auburn's top performer this season, shot a 75 which did not count in the team score. "Considering the conditions we played under and Jay not counting with the way he has carried us this year, I am pleased that we shot three-under," Griffin said.
Georgia's 265 first round is eight shots ahead of Augusta State. SMU is third at 276 and is followed by Middle Tennessee State (278), Ole Miss (278), North Carolina State (279), New Mexico State (280), Auburn, and Virginia Tech and UNC-Charlotte (281). Colorado State (282) is 11th and is followed by UT-Chattanooga (282), UC-Irvine (283), Coastal Carolina (285), Michigan State (285), Western Carolina (285), Duke (286), Virginia (286) and East Tennessee State (286) in the 27-team field.
Georgia's Hudson Swafford and Augusta State's Henrik Norlander shot rounds of 65 to lead the individual competition. Auburn has an early ee time on Friday with a 6:18 CDT start.