ST. GEORGE, Utah - Junior Chris Russo fired an opening round two under-par 70 and is three shots off the pace heading into Tuesday's final round of the Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational.
In the Matadors' first tournament of the spring season, Northridge sits sixth after one round carding a team round of 297 which trails team-leading Southern Utah by 13 strokes. Cal State Fullerton (288), Cal Poly (290), Oral Roberts (291) and College of Charleston (292) round out the top-five in the 14-team field.
Russo leads a retooled Matador lineup as the junior is tied for second with three other golfers at (-2) 70. Russo carded a 35 on the front nine and an identical 35 on the back nine. Jason Rosenkranz and newcomer Jared LeGrand are also in the top-20 as each is tied for 15th-place at (+1) 73. LeGrand, a freshman from Woodland Hills, is playing as an individual in his first tournament for the Matadors.
Junior Shane Blanchard, who played for the Matadors in 2009, also made his first appearance of the 2011-12 season and is currently tied for 45th at (+4) 76. Steven Molumby is tied for 63rd at (+6) 78 and Ryan Green is tied for 80th at (+9) 81.
The final round of 18 holes gets underway Tuesday.
- GO MATADORS -