By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor
Central Oklahoma placed four players among the top 12 and grabbed the team lead in Monday’s first round of the Missouri Southern Invitational men’s golf tournament at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club.
Led by co-medalist Dillon Rust, the Bronchos posted four-man total of 5-over-par 293, six shots in front of Northeastern State.
Central Missouri, the league leaders after last fall’s two league points events, was third at 301, eight shots separated fourth place from 10th place — Missouri Western 305, Nebraska-Kearney 306, Washburn 307, Lincoln 309, Lindenwood and Fort Hays State 312 and Missouri Southern 313. Southwest Baptist (318) and Pittsburg State (322) completed the team scores.
Rust and Kris Koelzer of Nebraska-Kearney topped the individual standings at 2-under-par 70.
Rust matched the scorecard with nine pars on the front nine, then made three birdies and one bogey during a back-nine 34. He made five-foot birdies on the par-3 No. 11 — which played at 122 yards from the front tee — and the par-4 13th, and he holed a 10-footer for birdie on the par-4 17th. His bogey came on the par-5 15th when he failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker.
“It’s similar to courses in Oklahoma,” said Rust, who finished second in a tournament two weeks ago in Phoenix. “The greens are pretty undulating in spots. It’s fun. I like it.”
Kolzer shot 1-under 35s on both sides for his 70. He birdied the par-8 No. 8, and then on the back, he made a birdie-3 on 12, bogey-4 on 14 and birdie-4 on 15.
Kyle Fouts of Northeastern State and Trey Seigel of Washburn tied for third with 71s. Fouts shot 2-under 34 on the front nine, and Seigel had a 1-under 35 on the back.
Ryan Buerk of Missouri Southern matched par-72 to rank fifth overall.
He began at No. 7 with the shotgun start and bogeyed his first two holes. He got those two strokes back with birdies on 10 and 11, then bogeyed 13 and 15 to go back to 2-over. But he responded with a birdie-3 on 17 and after returning to the front side, he made five pars and a birdie-4 on No. 6.
“He’s in the hunt,” Lions coach Mike Wheeler said. “And he already has a couple of top-10s this spring. He just hit the ball really well. He only had 29 points, and he didn’t have any three-putts. That helps.”
Nic Goodin of Southwest Baptist and Jacob Bartel of NSU were tied at 73, and two teams had two players with 74s — Central Oklahoma’s Eric Kline and Trevor Stafford and Central Missouri’s Travis Mays and Sam Migdal.
“The greens were rolling well, and there were some hole locations that were challenging,” Wheeler said.”
The Lions’ Andy Hogenmiller was tied for 16th place at 76. Other MSSU scores: Skyler Arbuckle 82, Ryan Russell 83 and Adam Johnson 85.
“It could be a little pressure from being on our home track and thinking we should do well automatically,” Wheeler said. “Maybe we pressed a little bit.”
The final round is today with a shotgun start at 9 a.m.