Top-seeded St. John's leads after Round 1 of action at the Big East Men's Golf Championships on Sunday at Callawassie Island in Okatie. The Red Storm combined for a team score of 290 and three St. John's golfers finished the first round in the top four.
St. John's junior Ben Ludlam leads the field of 45 with an impressive round of 2-under 70. Ludlam tallied a tournament-best seven birdies on Sunday and was one of three players to finish the round under par.
"It was pretty demanding right off the tee to be honest," Ludlam said.
"There were a few tricky pins, especially in the back nine. No hole stood out as particularly tricky though. The greens were awesome today, so if you putted well they were going to go in. It was a shame I didn't hang on to the five-under I had going into the last three holes."
Ludlam was 5 under heading into the final three holes of the afternoon before he double-bogeyed 16 and bogeyed 17 to allow the other contenders to close in.
Marquette's Brandon Cloete and St. John's Ryan McCormick are both one shot off the lead after shooting 71. Cloete finished his round strong by recording all three of his birdies on the back nine. McCormick had five birdies in the round, including one on 17 which moved him into the tie with Cloete.
St. John's Obe Ayton and DePaul's Jonathan Hewett are tied for fourth and were both one over on the day. There are three players tied for sixth and fourth in a group tied for ninth
St. John's holds a five-stroke lead over Marquette (295). Seton Hall (305) is 15 strokes off the lead and follows in third place. DePaul (306) is one shot behind Seton Hall in fourth.
Xavier (314), Georgetown (315) and Butler (316) are all separated by three strokes and are in fifth, sixth and seventh place, respectively. Creighton (321) and Villanova (328) round out the field in eighth and ninth place, respectively.
The second round tees off at 8 a.m. on Monday.