NORTH AUGUSTA — It took the Alabama-Huntsville disc golf team five holes to adjust to the steady, cold rain and high winds. When they did, however, the Chargers heated up and stayed hot.
Alabama-Huntsville finished the first round of the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships at the Hippodrome Disc Golf Club leading the field with a score of 16-under 44.
The early troubles were just a minor setback, Alabama-Huntsville captain Zach Beaman said.
“After about the fifth hole we just started clicking,” he said. “Our putts were on. If I didn’t hit my line, my partner hit his line. We just didn’t miss. That was the biggest thing today.”
Georgia Regents University, which was paired with USC Aiken for “Rivalry Day,” finished the round in a second-place tie with South Carolina at 49.
“We came together when we needed to,” Georgia Regents senior Clint Kuglar said. “We had periods where we were really hitting the shots. With a lucky shot here and there, it really turned out well for us today.”
The Hippodrome course, being located on one of the highest points in the area, is a magnet for high winds blowing in from the Savannah River.
Though it gave most teams fits, the wind proved to be an almost nonfactor for the Jaguars because of the team’s familiarity with the course, Georgia Regents senior Holton Brinson said. The team played the course extensively in the weeks leading up to the championship.
“Most of the courses you play aren’t all that windy,” he said. “It affects the disc more than you realize. We practiced with the wind so we knew how to throw.”
USC Aiken, competing in its first national championship, sits in a tie for 31st with Georgia Tech and East Tennessee State with a first-round score of 57.
Alabama-Huntsville’s Beaman said his team hopes to build off of its early success and carry the same level of concentration into today’s rounds.
“We’re on fire,” Beaman said. “The game plan is be safe when there is (out-of-bounds) and try a shot that you know you’re going to make. Confidence is the key.”
Teams will tee off for the first round of doubles play at 10 a.m. today. The second round of competition is expected to begin at 2 p.m.