HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. (Harding) - Harding men's golf holds a two-stroke lead over second place Southeastern Oklahoma, ranked No. 47 in NCAA II, after the first round of the 2014 Natural State Golf Classic. The 11 teams entered will play the final round beginning Tuesday at noon at the par-71, 6,463-yard Red Apple Inn and Country Club.
Harding is looking for its second tournament championship this season. The Bisons won the GAC Preview on Sept. 9-10 in Bethany, Okla.
Harding had three players in the top 10 Monday and shot 291, the Bisons' third-lowest score of the season. Southeastern Oklahoma is second at 293, and NAIA Blue Mountain is third at 295.
Southeastern's Jeff Hunter and Blue Mountain's Adam Hall are tied for first after the first round. Both shot 1-under 70.
Harding has two players tied for fourth. Senior Jordan Perry and junior Nathan Kannenberg both shot 1-over 72 and trail the leaders by two strokes. Sophomore Alex Williamson is tied for eighth after shooting 2-over 73.
Harding senior Lucas Collins is not far off the pace. He is tied for 13th at 3-over 74. Freshman Brad Lamb is tied for 46th at 11-over 82.
The Bisons have three golfers playing as individuals with senior Kyle Evans leading the way with an even-par 71 that has him in third place. It was Evans' best round as a Bison and his third round this season of par or better. Harding's Luke Thomas and Todd Williams are tied for 43rd at 10-over 81.
Williamson and Thomas led Harding with three birdies each. Evans had a team-high 14 pars, and Perry, Collins, and Kannenberg had 13 each.