Guilford Golfers Start Strong at O'Briant-Jensen Memorial

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Greensboro College's Scott Novicki shot even-par 70 and teammate John Grimes carded a 71 Monday as the Pride grabbed a one-stroke lead in the O'Briant-Jensen Memorial Golf Tournament at the Cardinal Golf and Country Club.

Novicki, a senior, posted the only even-par round on the 7,002-yard layout in northwest Greensboro. He made the turn at one-over, but birdied two of his last three holes to grab the lead in the 90-man field. He carries a one-shot edge into Tuesday's final round over Grimes, who shares second place with Christopher Newport University's Brian Jaeger and Methodist University's Mike Wesko.

Greensboro also got solid outings from Nick Peoples, who shares 13th place after Monday's 74, and Greg Pappas, who sits 16th after shooting 75.

Two-time defending tournament champion Guilford College used two-over rounds of 72 from Noah Ratner, Drew Thompson and Nick Shedd to shoot 291 Monday. The trio sits in a five-way tie for fifth place with LaGrange College's Cory Howard and Methodist University's Jeff Wells. Guilford's Travis Tolbert had the Quakers' fourth-best score Monday with a 75 that ranks 16th overall.

Behind Wesko and Wells, Methodist is also in the hunt after shooting 293 Monday. Huntingdon College (304) and Berry College (307) round out the top five.

The 36-hole tournament concludes Tuesday. It is named for former Guilford golf coach Jack Jensen and boosters Tom and Bettie O'Briant. The event has been held annually since 1978 when it was named the Guilford Invitational. This year's event features six teams ranked in the Golf World/Nike Golf Division III Coaches' Poll, including second-ranked Methodist and fifth-ranked Guilford.