Alabama takes early lead in classic
Crimson Tide holds a seven-shot lead on second-place Clemson
RIO MAR, Puerto Rico -- No. 9 Alabama finished the opening round of play on Sunday at the Puerto Rico Classic with a 12-under-par round of 276 on the 6,902-yard, par-72 River Course at the Rio Mar Country Club.
The Crimson Tide holds a seven-shot lead on second-place Clemson (283) with Oklahoma in third at 284 and top-ranked Texas tied with Virginia Tech for fourth place at even-par 288.
Freshman Justin Thomas holds the first-round lead after firing a 5-under-par 67 on Sunday. Sophomore Cory Whitsett is close behind in a tie for third place at 3-under-par 69 with sophomores Bobby Wyatt and Trey Mullinax tied for sixth at 2-under 70.
Thomas, a native of Goshen, Ky., bogeyed his second hole of the day - No. 18 - before carding six birdies on the final 16 holes for the tournament's low round of the day. He got to even par with a birdie on the par-4 first hole and then closed out the opening nine with birdies on the par-5 fourth and eighth holes. Thomas then posted a two on the par-3 10th and back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th holes.
Whitsett also made just one bogey on Sunday and is two shots back of Thomas. He made back-to-back bogeys on the first and second holes before making a three on the par-4 sixth to get him to 3-under par. A bogey on the eight moved him back to 2-under, but Whitsett closed out his round with a birdie on the par-5 15th hole.
Wyatt and Mullinax both put together solid and consistent 2-under-par rounds on Sunday. Mullinax made just one bogey to go with three birdies while Wyatt made four birdies and two bogeys. Hunter Hamrick was the Tide's drop score in the opening round with a 4-over 76.