West Boyleston, Mass. - September 23, 2018 - The Springfield College golf team got off to a great start in their pursuit of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Golf Championship on Saturday and sit in first after the opening round at Wachusett Country Club.
Springfield combined to shot a 305 on Saturday and has a 16-stroke lead on Mitchell, which is in second with a 321. Elms is close behind with a 323, while Eastern Nazarene (350) and Dean (382) round out the five-team field.
Of the 24 golfers in the event, Springfield had four of the top five scorers. Mike Strong (Newington, Conn.) is currently in first after shooting an opening round 73 and shot a +1 on the day as he totaled 13 pars and led the field in par 5 scoring, playing them at -2. Teammate Jake Raichle (Bethlehem, Pa.) is one shot behind Strong after turning in a 74, a round that was bolstered by a championship-best three birdies.
Both Matt Gazaille (Palmer, Mass.) and Joe Piwowarski (Cumberland, Maine) shot 79's on Saturday, and first-year Corey Roya (Manchester, Conn.) delivered an 80 in his first championship experience. Gazaille totaled 12 pars on his round, while Roya posted 11 as each are in the top five for the championship in that category.
The Pride will look to secure its first conference title since 2012 when it concludes the championship on Sunday.