NEW LONDON, N.C. -- Senior Austin Cody fired a two-under 70 on the opening day of the 2014 ACC Championship at Old North State Club to lead Duke to a five-over 293. The Blue Devils enter tomorrow's second round tied for seventh and nine shots off the lead.
"I am proud of and happy for Austin," said head coach Jamie Green. "He has worked hard all year and done a lot of the right things to put himself in position to play well here. He talked to team last night after our practice round and delivered on exactly what he told the team it would take to play well here. If you stay patient, have the right game plan and targets coming into greens you will have a few birdie opportunities and also a lot of manageable par putts. He patiently made pars and converted his birdie opportunities."
Florida State holds the 18-hole lead after posting a four-under 284 Friday. The Seminoles are followed by Georgia Tech (288), Clemson (289), Wake Forest (290), Boston College (291) and North Carolina (291). Duke is tied for seventh along with NC State (293) with Notre Dame (294), Virginia (294), Virginia Tech (298) and Maryland (299) rounding out the field.
"The wind picked up as the day wore on so for Austin and Motin [Yeung] to finish off solid rounds really helped lead our team," said Green. "There is a lot of teams bunched up the next two days will be fun and exciting."
Georgia Tech's Ollie Schniederjans blistered the course for a seven-under 65 to grab a three shot lead over Hank Lebioda (Florida State). Miller Capps (Clemson) is third with at three-under and followed by Cody and Cyrus Stewart (Wake Forest) at two-under. Motin Yeung is among a group of nine players tied for sixth after shooting a one-under 71.
Cody, making his third appearance in the ACC Championship at Old North State Club, opened the day with five straight pars before carding a birdie on the par 4 sixth hole. Following five more pars, he added a birdie on the par 4 12th to move to two-under. Cody trimmed another shot with a birdie on the challenging 16th hole before suffering his lone bogey of the day on No. 17 (par 3). He capped off the round with a par to record his fourth under-par effort in his last five rounds at Old North State Club.
"My attitude and mental approach was very good throughout the round," said Cody. "I was positive all day and stayed in the moment. The course is playing tough and I was very patient which helped me get through the tough conditions."
Yeung fired a one-under 71 Friday and is tied for sixth after one round of play. The sophomore from Beijing birdied both par 5s on the front nine but also suffered a pair of bogeys to make the turn at even-par. He moved back to red figures with a birdie on No. 12 (par 4) before closing with six straight pars despite windy conditions and rain moving into the area late in the round. Yeung has now shot even-par or better in 13 of his 26 rounds, including a team-leading eight under-par rounds.
"Motin swung with his steady, smooth, balanced golf swing all day," said Green. "He kept the ball in play and didn't stress his game around the greens. He hit a lot of fairways and greens and out here that makes it all the more easier to score well."
Freshman Alexander Matlari is tied for 28th after posting an opening round 74. He opened with a birdie on No. 1 before suffering bogeys on No. 3 and No. 8 to make the turn at one-over. Matlari birdied teh par 4 10th hole to get back to even but slipped to two-over following bogeys on No. 13 and No. 15. The Leimen, Germany native recovered nicely to par out the difficult stretch of No. 16-18.
Turner Southey-Gordon and Max Greyserman also began the tournament with birdies on No. 1 but neither player was able to build on the early success en route to matching 78s. Southey-Gordon closed with a birdie on No. 18 but had his round derailed by a triple-bogey on the par 4 eighth hole. Greyserman was troubled by double-bogeys on No. 9 and No. 17. The Duke tandem enters tomorrow's second round tied for 58th.
Duke opens second round play Saturday at 9:20 a.m. off No. 1 at Old North State Club. The Blue Devils will be paired with NC State and Wake Forest for tomorrow’s action. Live scoring for the event is available at www.golfstat.com, while Saturday and Sunday action will also be streamed live by the ACC Digital Network starting at 2 p.m. each day.