Boulder City, Nev. -- Junior Jeremy Kirk turned in the top round for the North Dakota men's golf team as the Fighting Hawks opened up play in the 2018 Big Sky Championship on Friday.
Kirk made his first loop around the Boulder Creek Golf Club in 74 (+2) and is tied for 13th in the individual standings. Kirk's efforts helped UND salvage a 317 (+29) during the opening round of the 54-hole event.
Sophomore Patrick Traynor also shot in the 70's for the Fighting Hawks on day one. Traynor matched Kirk for the team lead with three birdies and finished with a 79 (+7).
"We didn't get off to the start we wanted to today," UND head coach Matt Stricker said. "I think we need to regroup tonight, talk some things over and do a better job of managing the course tomorrow. I felt like we made a lot of mental mistakes that we are capable of eliminating and that will be a key for us in round two."
Senior Jack McClintock added an 80 (+8) and junior Jordan Smith carded an 84 (+12) to round out the four scorers for UND.
Southern Utah and Northern Colorado separated themselves from the rest of the eight-team field in the race for the tournament trophy. The Thunderbirds (285; -3) claimed a one-stroke lead on the Bears (286; -2), while that duo is nine strokes in front of third-place Weber State (294;+6).
The T-birds were led by Fidel Concepcion, who shot a 67 (-5) to take a two-stroke lead on Northern Colorado's Sam Marley (69; -3). in the race for medalist honors.
UND sits in eighth place with 36 holes to play. Second-round action is set for Saturday.
2018 Big Sky Championship (First Round Results)
|1.||Southern Utah||285 (-3)|
|2.||Northern Colorado||286 (-2)|
|3.||Southern Utah||294 (+6)|
|4.||Sacramento State||297 (+9)|
|8.||North Dakota||317 (+29)|
UND Individuals (Final Results)
|t13.||Jeremy Kirk||74 (+2)|
|t33.||Patrick Traynor||79 (+7)|
|35.||Jack McClintock||80 (+8)|
|37.||Jordan Smith||84 (+12)|
|40.||Ryan Riihinen||97 (+25)|
-- UND --