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Alcorn golf tourney: Texas Southern leads early

NATCHEZ — William Wells and Luis Colon each had rounds of 77 to lead Texas Southern University’s men’s golf team into first place with a team score of 324 at the end of Day 1 of the 2013 Alcorn State Invitational Monday at Beau Pré Country Club.

Wells and Colon tied for the low round of the day on the men’s side. Quenton Leonard had an 83 and Jarett Croff had a round of 87 for the TSU men’s team.

But that wasn’t the story — or, for that matter, the lowest round — of the day. That belonged to Kassandra Rivera of Texas Southern’s women’s golf team.

Kassandra, the 7th-ranked player in the nation and the sister of Alcorn State golf team member Jesus Rivera, had three birdies and two bogeys for a round of 1-under-par 71 despite tough course conditions and a stiff north wind that at times gusted to around 20 miles per hour.

“It was a pretty steady round. I bogeyed (my) last hole, No. 9,” Kassandra said. “I had one 3-putt, so my putting was pretty decent today. I definitely could have shot better. I missed a few short birdie putts. I left them a little short. Overall, it was a fairly decent round.

“The course started off pretty wet, so it was kind of long. The par-3s were playing long.”

Texas Southern’s women’s team is also in first place with a team score of 312. Carmen Gonzales shot a 77, Adriana Trevino had a round of 81 and Jalyn Kuykendall finished with an 83.

On the men’s side, Arkansas-Pine Bluff is just five shots behind Texas Southern in second place with a team score of 329. Nqobani Ndabambi led UAPB on Day 1 with a round of 80 while Jeff Chitando and Matthew Dismuke each had rounds of 81 and Elliott Rollins ended up with an 87.

As for host Alcorn State University, its men’s team is in third place with a team score of 348. Arlen Sims led the way for ASU with an 81, followed by Jon Michael White with an 84, Jesus Rivera with an 85 and Royal Hill with a 98.

Prairie View A&M is in fourth with a team score of 355 thanks to Rudolfo Muniz’s round of 79. Mississippi Valley State is fifth with a team score of 443.

Haleyon Swisher finished with a round of 101 and Janell Hayes had a 110, but Alcorn State did not enough players on the women’s side to field a team.

On the women’s side, both Prairie View and Mississippi Valley State are way behind Texas Southern. Prairie View is second with a team score of 500 and MVSU is third with a team score of 566.

Alcorn State first-year head golf coach Lynette West-Smith said this two-day tournament is a great opportunity to play a different course and is in memory of the late Alcorn coach Tom Matthews.

“This is a championship course. It’s pretty tough. It’s playing long,” West-Smith said. “I believe everyone will have a better day tomorrow, but I hope everyone has a good time. We’re having great weather. I appreciate all the staff members at Beau Pré and Harvest Golf Club for their support.”

Day 2 will get under way today with an 8 a.m. shotgun start.

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