BRYAN, TEXAS -- Freshman Motin Yeung posted rounds of 71 and 73 to pace Duke on the first day of the Aggie Invitational Saturday. The Blue Devils, 10th in the Golfstat rankings, shot back-to-back rounds of 296 to sit ninth overall in the event.
Alabama fired a 10-under 278 in the opening round to grab the tournament lead before carding a five-under 283 in the second round. The second-ranked Crimson Tide lead second place No. 21 Kent State by 12 shots heading into the final round of play. No. 4 Washington is third at one-over (577) with No. 23 Texas A&M (+3, 579) and No. 5 UCLA (+7, 583) rounding out the top five.
Corey Conners (Kent State) and Chris Williams (Washington) hold the individual lead at seven-under (137) with a pair of Alabama players, Scott Strohmeyer and Corey Whitsett, one shot back. Yeung enters tomorrow's final round tied for ninth at even-par.
Yeung got off to a terrific start in the opening round with birdies on No. 2, No. 5 and No. 6. He added a birdie on the par 4 13th hole before suffering a bogey on No. 16 and a double-bogey on No. 18 to finish with a one-under 71. Yeung carded two birdies, 13 pars and three bogeys en route to a one-over 73 in the afternoon round.
Senior Brinson Paolini and freshman Mads Soegaard are tied for 25th after posting four-over 148s at the Traditions Club. Paolini played his opening nine holes Saturday at two-under with seven pars and birdies on No. 5 and No. 8. He suffered four straight bogeys on the back nine to post a 74. Paolini's afternoon sessions included three birdies and five bogeys for a second straight round of 74.
Soegaard played solid throughout the day shooting 75 and 73. The Denmark native carded 26 pars, three birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 hoels of play.
Junior Austin Cody is tied for 52nd at nine-over after registering rounds of 76 and 77. The North Charleston, S.C., native got off to a rocky start with three bogeys over his first four holes and also struggles to close the day with three more bogeys over the final four holes. Cody was just three-over from holes No. 5 through 32 Saturday.
Julian Suri, a senior from St. Augustine, Fla., got off to a terrible start to the tournament with a triple-bogey, bogey, double-bogey, double-bogey over the first four holes. He played the remainder of the first round at even-par. In the second round, Suri collected a pair of birdies on the front nine but finished with bogeys on No. 16 and No. 18 for a four-over 76. He is tied for 62nd at +12 after 36 holes of play.
Junior Yaroslav Merkulov, playing as an individual, shot 78-77 for a +11, 155. The Penfield, N.Y., native had his opening round derailed by a pair of double-bogeys and suffered four bogeys on the back nine of the second round.
Duke opens final round play Sunday at 8:48 am and will be paired with LSU and Oklahoma. Live scoring for the event is available at www.golfstat.com.