DURHAM, N.C. -- Sophomore Motin Yeung fired a three-under 69, while senior Yaroslav Merkulov posted a two-under 70 to pace Duke to the three-over 291 in the opening round of the United States Collegiate Championship. The Blue Devils are 10th overall as seven teams shot under par Friday at the Golf Club of Georgia.
Host Georgia Tech, No. 2 in the Golfstat rankings, leads the event after recording a nine-under 279 in the first round. No. 5 Oklahoma State is five shots back followed by No. 14 Virginia (-3, 285), No. 3 Texas A&M (-3, 285), Wake Forest (-2, 286), No. 17 UCLA (-2, 286), Iowa (-1, 297), No. 9 Stanford (E, 288), Southern Cal. (+2, 290) and Duke (+3, 291). No. 10 Washington (+6, 294), East Tennessee State (+6, 294), No. 19 Kent State (+8, 296), No. 25 Auburn (+9, 297) and Clemson (+11, 299) round out the loaded 15-team field.
Ben Rusch (Virginia) and Ollie Schniederjans (Georgia Tech) share the individual lead after collecting six-under 66s Friday. Yeung is among a group of seven players tied for third at three-under, while Merkulov is tied for 10th at two-under.
Yeung opened the tournament with a par before ripping off three straight birdies to move solidly into red figures. The Beijing, China, native suffered a bogey on No. 7 but quickly recovered with a birdie on the par 4 eighth hole. Yeung parred the next seven holes before dropping to two-under with a bogey on No. 16. He closed out the day with his fifth birdie on the par 5 18th hole to move into a tie for third.
Merkulov's two-under 70 marked his third consecutive under-par round of the fall. He birdied the par 4 second hole before dropping strokes with bogeys on No. 4 and No. 5. Merkulov recovered to play bogey-free golf over the remaining 13 holes with birdies on No. 6, No. 9 and No. 18.
Freshman Max Greyserman posted a three-over 75 and is tied for 48th overall. He carded eight pars and a bogey (No. 4) on the front nine before carding a double-bogey on the par 5 11th hole to slip to three-over. Greyserman recorded his first birdie of the day on No. 14 but suffered a double-bogey on No. 15. The Short Hills, N.J., native played the final three holes at one-under with a birdie on the par 3 17th hole.
Duke begins second round Saturday at 9 a.m. and will be paired with Wake Forest and Texas A&M. Live scoring for the USCC is available at www.golfstat.com.
The USCC live webcast will start at 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday and can be viewed on either the USCC website at www.TheUSCC.org or at new.livestream.com/2013uscc/webcast.