Billy Tom Sargent leads WKU Hilltopper Golf in a tie for 18th after the first day of the 2018 Conference USA Championship.

Sargent, a redshirt junior, shot a 3-over 75 to open play at the par-72, 6,969-yard Texarkana Country Club.

The Hilltoppers are in 10th place as a team with a 304 total, but just eight strokes out of second place following an expected day of difficult pin placements.

“Shooting 304 was not the plan we had for the first round,” WKU head coach Phillip Hatchett said. “We knew the course would be set up strong, and we were not let down. There are just so many pins you cannot even hit toward, but you have to play away from in order to give yourself a chance for a decent birdie putt. The greens are difficult, fair, but awesome at the same time. You just have to maintain your discipline and hit it to the quadrant you know you must hit it toward to have the best opportunity for birdies.”

Junior Stuart Easton and redshirt sophomore Linus Lo are both tied for 29th following opening-round 76s.

Freshman Crimson Callahan and sophomore Tom Bevington provided the final counting score for WKU with 77s apiece, tying them for 37th.

Callahan in particular battled back from a 6-over start on the back nine, playing the front at 1 under with birdies on two of his final three holes.

Play is scheduled to resume at 8 a.m. CT Monday in the second round.

“When you have three excellent players who are leading your team shoot rounds of 75 and higher, it is going to be tough to score like you would like,” Hatchett said. “But everyone fought hard today and left it all out on the course. Not playing anywhere near our best and only being eight shots out of second place lets us know we are not out of the tournament by a long shot. We know what we need to do so all we have to do is execute tomorrow, and we can play ourselves back into this tournament.”

2018 Conference USA Championship First Day Results

T18. Billy Tom Sargent (75)

T29. Stuart Easton (76)

T29. Linus Lo (76)

T37. Crimson Callahan (77)

T37. Tom Bevington (77)

How to follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Golf, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUMensGolf.

-@WKUSports-

Zach Greenwell

Associate Director

WKU Athletic Communications/Media Relations

Men’s Basketball | Men’s Golf | Women’s Golf

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