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East County Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 11 months ago

Low scores abound after LECOM Suncoast Classic's first round

Former Lakewood Ranch High golfer Seath Lauer sits seven strokes back of lead
by: Ryan Kohn Sports Reporter

Maverick McNealy and J.T. Griffin both shot eight under par (64) to lead the field after the first day of the Tour's LECOM Suncoast Classic at Lakewood National Golf Club. The first round was suspended because of darkness with 12 golfers left to finish tomorrow, all with three holes or less to go. 

McNealy, the son of Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy, started hot, with eight birdies through 12 holes, before bogeying the 13th hole. He would birdie the 14th hole and bogey the 16th hole before finishing with a birdie on the 18th hole. Griffin, who finished 15 holes before the darkness suspension,  has yet to bogey a hole. 

Right behind McNealy and Griffin are Mark Hubbard and Wade Binfield at seven under, then 11 golfers, including Mike Weir, at six under. Overall, 23 golfers shot five under par or better on the Suncoast Classic's first day. 

Seath Lauer putts on the first hole of the LECOM Suncoast Classic's first round.

Former Lakewood Ranch High golfer Seath Lauer had not played on a professional tour since 2016, but received a special exemption into the tournament and took advantage of it, finishing the first round at one under par, tied for 70th. 

"It felt good," Lauer said. "I got off to a pretty decent start. We did everything we expected. I got a bogey on the third hole, but bounced back with a birdie on four, where we thought we would get one. Then I settled in, besides a few hiccups. The wind direction is crazy here. A couple shots, we misread the wind. We cost ourselves three shots with bad clubs because of the wind, which is disappointing, because we really played a decent round of golf. 

"It was a fun day. It was nice to be back out here competing and be amongst these guys."

Danny Walker, the other former Mustang in the field, shot four over par and is tied for 144th. Behind him is two-time major winner Angel Cabrera, who finished eight over par. 

The tournament will resume tomorrow at 7 a.m. 

I’m the sports reporter for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. I was born and raised in Olney, MD. My biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. My strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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