Matadors Open Big West Championship in Eighth Place, Russo Tied for Second

LA QUINTA, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge men's golf team opened the 2012 Big West Championship with a team round of 301 and is in eighth-place while junior Chris Russo fired an opening round 69 and is tied for second.

Russo is just one shot off the pace set by Pacific's Alex Edfort as the second round began Monday morning. Russo's three-under 69 is his fourth round of 69 or better this season as the junior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., is looking for his best conference tournament finish after placing seventh in 2011 and eighth in 2010.

Unfortunately, no other Matador is among the top-25 after the first round while as a team Northridge sits tied for eighth after one round at 301. Pacific leads the team chase after a first round 282 while UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton are tied for second at 290. UC Irvine (291) and UC Santa Barbara (292) round out the top-five with Long Beach State (294), UC Riverside (294), Cal Poly (301) and the Matadors rounding out the field.

Sophomore Ryan Green is tied for 27th after an opening round three-over 75 while Steven Molumby is tied for 34th at four-over 76. Green and Molumby is each making his Big West Championship debut.

Senior Jason Rosenkranz, Northridge's second-leading scorer this season, had a disappointing nine-over 81 to open the championship and sits 42nd while Shane Blanchard is 45th after an opening round (+15) 87.