HAWORTH, N.J. (October 7, 2019) -- Pablo Saenz Avila fired a two-under-par, 70, during the opening round Monday to vault both himself and his Goldey-Beacom College Lightning into first place in both the team and individual standings at the 2019 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Men's Golf Championship at White Beeches Country Club in Haworth, N.J.
The Lightning, as a team, shot a 298 (+10) and head into Tuesday's final round 10 shots ahead of second-place Wilmington University, which carded a 308 (+20) during Monday's first 18 holes. Post University is in third and sits 12 shots off the pace at +22 with a 310 on Monday.
Saenz Avila posted five birdies on the day, including three on the front nine. He birdied the second hole and carded back-to-back birds on holes five and six. Saenz Avila made the turn and added two more on 10 and 12 to get to three-under at one point in his round. He gave a shot back with a bogey at the 15th, but posted pars over the final three holes to come home with a tremendous opening round score.
Saenz Avila was the lone golfer to post a red number during the opening round, as he sits two shots ahead of Chestnut Hill College's Shawn Mayer, who fired a strong even-par, 70, on Monday. Mayer threw up back-to-back birdies on holes two and three, but his highlight of the day was an eagle at the par-5, 11th, which moved him to two-under at the time and the lead in the individual standings. He bogeyed the 12th, but got a shot back with a birdie at the 13th to remain at two-under. However, bogeys on the 14th and 18th kept him from shooting in the red.
A trio of golfers are tied for third entering Tuesday's final round at +2, including Post University's Anthony Guerrera, Goldey-Beacom's Gonzalo Moreno and University of the Sciences Tyler Blake. All three shot 74s on Monday and head into the final 18 holes just four shots off the lead. The top-five individuals -- including ties -- earn all-tournament honors, as the race for those honors and the individual medalist looks to be exciting on Tuesday.
Playing in his first CACC Championship, Blake fired four birdies on Monday, while Moreno and Guerrera had a pair each. Moreno notched birdies on both the 11th and 12th to go to one-under at the time.
Saenz Avila and Moreno were not the only Lightning golfers to have solid opening rounds. Hunter McGee, who subbed in at the No. 5 spot for the Lightning following an injury to Shea Murphy late last week, carded a four-over, 76, during the first round to tie for seventh. Braden Wheeler and Corbin Babyak each shot 78 (+6) to tie for 13th.
Wilmington was able to move into second place after the first round as three Wildcats find themselves in the top 10 of the individual standings heading to Tuesday. Enrique Valverde is sixth at +3 (75), Tyler Cleaves is tied for seventh at +4 (76) and Jack Dixon is tied for ninth at +5 (77).
Felix Hinderthur is Post's other golfer in the top 10 after day one, as he too is tied for ninth at five over.
The final round of the 2019 CACC Championship gets underway Tuesday at 8 a.m., at White Beeches CC. Fans wishing to watch live coverage of the final round can do so on the caccnetwork.com(.)
ABOUT THE CACC
The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference is an NCAA Division II Conference composed of 14 institutions in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The member institutions are Bloomfield College, Caldwell University, Chestnut Hill College, Concordia (N.Y.) College, Dominican (N.Y.) College, Felician University, Georgian Court University, Goldey-Beacom College, Holy Family University, Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), Nyack College, Post University of Waterbury, University of the Sciences, and Wilmington University.