by Benny Benton
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College "A" team led a 12-team field on Monday after round one of the Barton Intercollegiate sponsored by Greenlight, which was played at Wilson Country Club.
The Bulldogs held a six-stroke lead on second-place Southern New Hampshire University and a nine-shot advantage on third-place University of Mount Olive.
The teams completed most of round two as well, but play was suspended due to darkness and will resume at 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning. The third and final round will follow.
Under extremely cold and rainy conditions more suited to his native Canada, sophomore Justin Plane carded an even-par round of 72 on the 6,851-yard layout to lead the Bulldogs and place third overall. Junior Travis Broome and freshman Dominic O'Brien both added 75s and were tied for fourth in the 70-player field. Barton also received a 77 from junior Derek Hamm, which tied for 12th, and a 78 from sophomore Scott Pechacek, which tied for 17th.
Barton was the only team to break 300 in the difficult elements, squeezing under that number at 299. Southern New Hampshire, the tournament's defending champion, stood at 305. The Penmen were paced by tournament co-leader Matt Paradise, who joined North Carolina State University's Nolan Mills in shooting a 2-under par 70.
Barton's "B" group was fifth after round one, one stroke behind fourth-place North Carolina Wesleyan College. The "B" team was led by junior Turner Garris, who fired a 76 to rank eighth overall. Other scores for the group included senior Kyle Gaster and sophomore Logan Zimarino with 78s, sophomore Brandon Munford with 80 and senior Brian Reneau with a 93. Junior Dennis Hering, playing as an individual, also produced an 80 in round one.
Barton is seeking its first victory in its home tournament since 2014.