The Bethany College men's golf team played the first round of the Swede Invitational Thursday at Turkey Creek.
On a day when the wind made playing conditions very difficult, the Swedes turned in solid performances to stay within striking of first-day leader Southwestern College.
Head coach Jon Daniels entered three Swede teams in his invitational, and after the first day Bethany was in second, third and tied for fourth place. One Bethany team trails the Moundbuilders by just four strokes, 303 and 307. Daniels second team is just three strokes behind his first, with a first-round team score of 310. The third Bethany team is tied for fourth with Sterling College with a first-round team score of 316.
Bethany’s Lewis Blair and Matt O'Neill are tied atop the individual scoring with rounds of 73. They join three others in a five-way tie for first.
Ben Johnson and Jose Luis Lelo de Larrea, just three shots off the lead, were tied for seventh after shooting 76s.Olly Rubenstein and Jose Acevedo were one shot back of that group, and are tied for 10th place. Greg Miller and Tanner Thurman are both tied for 13th after shooting an opening-round 78. James Tisdale, Josef Loughlin and Manuel Collado were also in the top 20 after the first round. They all shot 80 for the first day and are tied at 17th.
"We did not play our best golf today. We were just average," Daniels said. "To reach our goals and win championships you cannot be average like we played. It is another learning opportunity for our guys, and fortunately we have another shot to play better tomorrow."
The Swedes’ Lex Deal shot an 81, while Chence Tayi Chikwari shot an 82 and are in 21st and 22nd place. Jacob Hebbel finished the day in 24th after shooting a 39 on his front nine and a 44 on his back. Thomas Felling also played for the Swedes and shot an opening round 104.
The second round will be played Friday at Salina Muni.