KEENE, N.H. - The Saint Michael's College men's golf team opened the 2016 season on Sunday with its lowest round in three years at day one of the two-day Franklin Pierce University Fall Invitational at Bretwood Country Club. The Purple Knights also had all five competitors card an 84 or better for the first time in four seasons.
Saint Michael's, which is competing in a 11-team field that includes four of the 10 East Region teams that qualified for the 2016 NCAA Championship, sits 11th with 314 strokes, just two behind 10th-place Assumption College, which went to last year's national meet. Monday's action begins at 9 a.m.
The Purple Knights' 314 shots were their fewest since a second round of 313 at Middlebury College's Duke Nelson Invitational on Sept. 15, 2013, and were a vast improvement over last year's rounds of 340 and 331 at the same Bretwood course. Sophomore Colin Gaunt (Queensbury, N.Y./Queensbury) led the squad by tying for 25th with a career-low four-over 76, leaving him just three strokes outside the top 15. Classmate Tucker Buteau (Gorham, Maine/Tilton School) also set a personal best, carding a 77 to tie for 35th.
First-year Matt Johnson (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) debuted by shooting an 80 to tie for 48th, and senior Anthony Maiuri (Boxford, Mass./New Hampton School) is one stroke behind. Sophomore David Boardman (Pelham, N.H./Pelham) came within one shot of his career-low round, firing an 84, as all five Purple Knights met that score or were lower for the first time since Oct. 1, 2012, at the Northeast-10 Conference Championship. Nick Angelo '13, George Flanagan '13, Dylan Lavallee '13, Steve French '14 and Spencer Mallette '14 turned the feat that day.