Mason Chiu (-2) Helps CMS Men's Golf Into Top 10 After First Day of NCAA Championships

Mason Chiu continued his strong play at the NCAA Championships with a -2 on the opening day
Mason Chiu continued his strong play at the NCAA Championships with a -2 on the opening day

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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Sophomore Mason Chiu, who won the individual SCIAC Championship by seven strokes the last time he was in action, shot a 2-under 70 to help the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's golf team into a tie for eighth place after the first day of the NCAA Division III Championships on Tuesday at the Keene Trace Golf Club's Championship Trace Course.

Chiu stands just one shot off the lead behind Sam Goldenring of Williams, who was the only player to shoot under 70. Chiu and three others (Drew Mathers of Huntingdon, Drew Pershing of Illinois Wesleyan, and Phillip Schmitz of Concordia University) are one shot behind at -2, while seven others also came in at one-under with a 71. 

CMS shot a 299 as a team to tie for eighth place with Huntingdon, which came in ranked No. 2 in the GolfStat computer rankings. Illinois Wesleyan (No. 3 in GolfStat) leads with a -1 (287), 12 shots ahead of the Stags, while Concordia shot an even par-288.

Sophomore Ken Kong is also in the top 50 (out of 215) on the individual leaderboard after finishing with a 75 (+3), while senior Alex Wrenn and freshman Alex Yun are tied for 81st with an opening-day 77. The Stags also had the highest finish of the three SCIAC teams who were invited, as Redlands stands in 15th place with a 306, and La Verne is in 23rd place after an opening-day 313. 

Chiu, who played 30 holes at the SCIAC Championships before suffering his first bogey, continued his solid postseason play, tallying four birdies and two bogeys on his first day. He opened up with a birdie on the first hole, took the turn at -1 after birdieing the sixth, and then closed out with birdies on 14 and 16 to end his round in the red at -2. 

The second day of the NCAA Championships gets underway tomorrow, with CMS teeing off in the later group around 12 noon on the 6897-yard Keene Run Course. The four-day tournament concludes on Friday after 72 holes, with a playoff holes taking place after if needed.