LAWRENCE, Kan. – Wesley Buntenbach was one hole away from a first-round lead but his round was still historic, for the Park University men's golf team, firing a 1-over par 73 to lead the Pirates in to a third-place tie with Kansas Wesleyan, while the women had a pair of 81s – from Genevieve Stelmacovich and Leeah Shipley – to sit fourth through 18 holes, 22 shots behind first-place KWU.

 

"Every time I made a bogey today I made a birdie after it, and I wasn't over par until my last hole," Buntenbach said. "I didn't three-putt today. I hit shots where I needed to. It's frustrating but I feel like I put myself in a good position and can improve upon today."

 

Buntenbach was 1-under through 17 holes but pulled his second shot left at the 18th, making six on the par-4 signature hole at Lawrence's Eagle Bend Golf Course. Buntenbach was one of two in the 70s for the Pirates, who also had Yannick Koehnen's 75, while fellow-freshman Ryan Tattan shot 80 and Zach Spencer shot 84. Buntenbach is just two shots off the lead, held by Ottawa's Doug Radley, who shot 1-under 71.

 

On the women's side, Shipley and Stelmacovich were on pace to challenge for the tournament lead, Shipley turning in 35, one off a school record for nine holes, and Stelmacovich in 39. In addition to their 81s, which are tied for 10th, Lauren Birkeness began her sophomore season with an 89, and senior Morgan Farnan shot 91.

 

"Today was a learning experience, and we knew it would be," said Park coach Tony Blake. "I got to do a lot of evaluation on all 10 players. This was a good indicator of what we need to do to get better."

 

In the women's tournament, Kansas Wesleyan shot one of its best rounds in recent years, at 320, playing with the initials of Randy Bemiss, former head coach who passed away over the summer, on the bottom of their bags. The Coyotes are seven shots better than Barton County and eight ahead of Oklahoma Wesleyan, which boasts a first-place individual in KayLee Hacker, who shot 74.

 

Ottawa leads its own event on the men's side, shooting 296 on day one, while the Pirates trail second-place Kansas City Kansas Community College by only a shot.

 

Tuesday's second round in Lawrence gets underway at 9 a.m., at Eagle Bend, with post-round reaction and results at www.parkathletics.com, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ParkAthletics