MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. -- A tough outing in the back nine pushed Tom Forster (Oundle, England) to a tie for 69th at five-over after the first day of the NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championships Finals on Monday.
"I struck the ball really well and putted well scored terribly," Forster said. "Feel really good about my game but not so good about the score."
The sophomore opened the early part of the morning with a +1 showing through the front nine. He shot for birdie on the third followed by back-to-back bogeys before shooting for par on the final four holes before the turn.
He remained at one-over through the first three holes of the back half before carding a quadruple bogey on 13th. A bogey on 15 and a birdie on 17 helped him to stay at four-over in the back nine.
"Tom played well today except for one really bad hole," head coach Randy Wylie said. "Two water balls on a tricky par three really cost him.
"He needs a special bounce back round tomorrow to get back into contention."
Forster sits near the middle of the pack for Par 4 shooting with a +1 average of 4.10 on such holes. He is one-under on Par 5 holes but is +5 on Par 3s.
The Eagle is currently 11 shots back from the top of the leaderboard where Florida Southern's John VanDerLaan, the nation's top player and individual medalist of the South/Southeast regional, currently sits. He sits at six-under with a 66 through Monday's round of play.
In a tie for second are Southeast Oklahoma State's Zach James, Arkansas Tech's Putter Srinoon, Indianapolis' Oliver Mast and West Florida's Chandler Blanchet and Henry Westmoreland. They are all two strokes behind VanDerLaan.
On the team side, No. 1 West Florida sits atop the field at nine-under with a 279. Indianapolis is one stroke behind in second while No. 2 Florida Southern is third at seven-under.
Forster is set to tee-off at 1:06 p.m. from the 10th hole for the second round of the tournament on Tuesday. Live scoring will still be available to follow along with the progress of the final.