AMES - The NIACC men's golf team is in sixth place with a 333 after the first round at the NJCAA Region XI tournament Saturday at Veenker Memorial Golf Course.
Kirkwood leads the 2-day tournament with a 302. Iowa Lakes is in second with a 312 and DMACC and Iowa Central are tied for third at 319.
Obviously, we're not happy with how we played (Saturday)," NIACC coach Chris Frenz said. "However, we really stumbled out of the gates and overall I was pleased with their efforts to keep trying to find a way to get it done.
"The weather wasn't a factor, even though the wind was gusty from time to time, this is just a tough challenging golf course and the overall scores prove that."
Also for NIACC, Devin Koob shot a 42-44 - 86.
"Putting is critical," Frenz said, "and if you're not doing that well, it's hard to score on this course."
The top three teams qualify for the NJCAA Division I national tournament, which is a change from past years when just the regional championship moved on to nationals. The top three teams and the top two individuals not on the top three teams advance to nationals.
"The new rule this year still gives us a chance to make it to the national tournament but we need to shoot around 305, I feel," Frenz said. "We're 14 behind third at the moment, which is catchable, but our margin of error is very slim. I know these guys won't fold up their tent and go home, we'll fight to the end and see what happens."
Team standings - Kirkwood 302, Iowa Lakes 312, DMACC 319, Iowa Central 319, Northeast CC 332, NIACC 333, Southeastern 346, Southwestern 354.
Individual leaders - Jordan Even (Kirkwood) 73, Niall Powell (Kirkwood) 74, Avery Fuhs (DMACC) 74.