Razorback Men’s Golf; Long Lead After Day 1 at Blessings

Mike Cawood

FAYETTEVILLE – Super senior Luke Long birdied three straight on his back nine to take the lead and shot an opening-round 67 (-5) for a two-stroke cushion at the Blessings Collegiate Invitational, played at the par-72, 7,700-yard Blessings Golf Club. Teammates Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira and Segundo Oliva Pinto are part of a six-way tie for second – all at 3-under-par – to help the Razorbacks card a 10-under-par 278 and take a commanding seven-stroke lead after day 1.

Arkansas, starting on hole 10, got off to a hot start with Fernandez de Oliveira and Julian Perico opening with birdies to start 2-under. The Razorbacks got back-to-back birdies from Fernandez de Oliveira and Oliva Pinto on holes 6 and 7, while Long provided birdies on holes 5 and 8 to put the Hogs at 4-under as a team through nine holes. Also, Fernandez de Oliveira led the individual race at the turn with a bogey-free start, three birdies and six pars.

Making the turn, Oliva Pinto and Long each birdied the par-4, 1st hole, playing as hole 10 for the Razorbacks Monday. With the birdies, Oliva Pinto tied for the lead and Long jumped to fourth. Fernandez de Oliveira regained sole possession of the lead with a birdie on his 13th hole, the par-4, 4th. However, Fernandez de Oliveira and Oliva Pinto both suffered a bogey on their 16th hole. In the meantime, Long capped his run of three straight birdies on the 16th hole. Oliva Pinto and Perico capped the round with birdies to push the Razorbacks to 10-under for the day.

Perico tied for 22nd with a 1-over-par 73 and Wil Gibson is in 45th after an opening-round 78.

Ole Miss shot a 385 (-3) and is second in the 10-team field, followed by Illinois (286), Tennessee (288) and Texas Tech (289).

Day two of the three-day event is set for Tuesday with 18 holes of play. Arkansas’ men will tee off at 11:15 am (CT) on hole number 1. GOLF channel coverage is live from 3-6 pm (CT).

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