Men's golf leads after round 1 of SEC tourney

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Led by sophomore Will Roebuck's 69, the Rebels shot a 295 and grabbed the lead after day one of the SEC Championship at Sea Island Golf Club.

Roebuck was the only golfer in the field to shoot under par at the par 70, 6,991-yard Seaside Course. He finished the front nine at even-par including two birdies, and then got to minus-one with a birdie on 13. Back-to-back bogeys on 15 and 16 put Roebuck at +1, but he answered with consecutive birdies on 17 and 18 to finish at 1-under for the day.

Even more remarkable about Roebuck's round, is the harsh conditions players dealt with all day, according to head coach Ernest Ross.

"It was extremely windy, gusting from 25-35 mph the entire time," Ross said. It was so windy, that sand was blowing out of the bunkers. Players would spot their ball and the wind would move it six feet at times. Our players really seemed to relish the challenge. We played and practiced in a lot of wind during the year. While the conditions were not the most fun to play in, it maybe worked to our advantage.

"Will played great today. He has had some good rounds this year, but he finally finished off a round. It's always exciting to be leading the SEC Championships. But we know this is only the first day of a three-day tournament. It was a struggle for every player out there today to maintain a positive frame of mind. We wore black ribbons in memory of the Virginia Tech students, and perhaps that inspired us."

Senior Callum Macaulay posted a 75, which included going 1-under on the final three holes, as the Rebels gained a three-shot lead over second-place Alabama (298). Last week's SEC Player of the Week, is tied for 15th along with junior David Marino, who also shot 75. Senior Chris Rogers carded a 76 and is tied for 22nd.

Right behind Ole Miss and Alabama, is Tennessee, with a first-round 300. LSU stands in fourth at 301 and Vanderbilt sits in fifth at 302. Roebuck leads Auburn's Patton Kizzire (72) by three. Four players are tied for third with a 73.

The Rebels will be in the final group again Saturday, teeing off at 10:30 a.m.

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