Alabama leads after first round at Isleworth

Alabama's Trey Mullinax

Men's Rankings »

RankNameSchoolRating
1Patrick RodgersStanford  68.39 
2Robby SheltonAlabama  68.58 
3Ollie SchniederjansGA Tech  68.62 
4Cameron WilsonStanford  68.89 
5Joey GarberGeorgia  69.20 

Men's Team Rankings »

RankNameRatingEvents
1Alabama 68.96  12 
2Georgia Tech 69.63  12 
3Stanford 69.69  12 
4Oklahoma State 69.82  13 
5Georgia 69.83  12 

WINDERMERE, Fla. – Alabama took advantage of receptive greens at Isleworth Golf and Country Club on Sunday and posted an 8-under 280 to take a two-shot lead in Round 1 of the Isleworth Collegiate.

The Crimson Tide, No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, were led by senior Trey Mullinax, who shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 and holds a share of the lead with California senior Joel Stalter.

Mullinax took advantage of the back nine, arguably the more difficult side at Isleworth, and finished strong with four birdies coming in, including a birdie-birdie finish on Nos. 17 and 18 (18 was the second most difficult hole on the course in the first round).

“I hit the ball really well today,” Mullinax said. “It was a strong finish, too. Our work-out guy always says, 'Finish strong,' and I tried to do that today.”

Alabama senior Bobby Wyatt fired a 3-under 69, freshman Robby Shelton shot 1-under 71 and senior Cory Whitsett came in at 2-over 74 to round out Alabama's four counting scores.

“This golf course requires a lot of thinking and you have to think 24-7 on this golf course,” Mullinax said. “It’s just a good challenge for us.”

The 2013 NCAA National Champions have not trailed in a tournament yet this season, and the team is looking for its third victory in as many starts.

Alabama leads Central Florida by two shots, while California, No. 4 and Illinois, No. 6, are tied for third at 4-under 284.

On the individual leaderboard, Mullinax and Stalter each had bogey-free rounds of 66 at Isleworth. It's the second-lowest score in tournament history.

Stalter is coming off his first individual win of the season less than a week ago at Cal’s Alister MacKenzie Invitational. He took advantage of the back nine (his front nine) as he made the turn at 5 under. Stalter made consecutive birdies on Nos. 11-13, then birdied Nos. 15 and 17 by firing “a lot of irons right at the pins, which made it easy to make birdies.”

Stalter made a 45-footer for birdie on No. 8 to get to 6 under and saved par from behind the green on No. 9 to maintain the bogey-free round.

He also said that this could easily be the best round of his college career even though he has shot lower numbers, such as 63 and 64.

“I think this 66 is a little better given the course,” Stalter said.

It’s a big improvement for Stalter as he has struggled at this tournament the last two seasons. His scoring average during his sophomore and junior years at Isleworth was 77.0.

“It’s a course you (have) to know,” Stalter said. “I know where I made a lot of mistakes last year, and today I didn’t make any mistakes. Even when I missed a shot, I was in a position to get up and down for my par.”

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