Top-ranked Crimson Tide scorches competition on Day 1 in Puerto Rico
RIO GRAND, Puerto Rico -- Top-ranked Alabama fired a 15-under-par 273 to take the opening-round lead at the 2014 Puerto Rico Classic on Sunday on the par 72, 6,945-yard Rio Mar Country Club.
The Crimson Tide have a five-shot lead on second-place Georgia and Georgia Tech (-10, 278). Purdue is fourth at 7-under 281 while Michigan rounds out the top five at 3-under 285.
Alabama has four players in the top 10 after 18 holes and were led by senior Cory Whitsett and freshman Robby Shelton, who both carded 5-under rounds of 67. The nation's No. 1 golfer Trey Mullinax carded a 3-under 69 while Tom Lovelady shot 2-under 70.
The Crimson Tide's 15-under 273 was its second-lowest round of the 2013-14 season and its 10th under-par total in 13 rounds this year. Alabama is averaging 3.6 strokes below par per round as a team this season. The Tide has won three straight trips to Puerto Rico.
Whitsett and Shelton are both tied for second, one shot back of Purdue's Adam Schenk. Whitsett carded six birdies and one bogey while Shelton posted an eagle, four birdies and a double bogey. Shelton's double bogey actually came on his first hole and he proceeded to play the next 17 holes in 7-under par.
Mullinax is tied for seventh after a 3-under 69 that included four birdies and one bogey. It was Mullinax's ninth round under par and eighth round in the 60s in 13 this season. Lovelady fired a 2-under 70 that puts him in a tie for 10th headed into Monday's second round. Bobby Wyatt's 2-over 74 was dropped from the Alabama team total and leaves him tied for 42nd.