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BERLIN, Md. (October 16, 2018) – The first two rounds of the Maryland Eastern Shore Collegiate Golf Challenge are complete, and the North Carolina A&T men’s golf team finds themselves in contention to win the program’s first-ever collegiate tournament at the par-72, 6,624-yard Ocean City Golf & Yacht Club golf course.

Freshman Diego Gonzalez shot an even-par 72 in the first round before returning for a second 18 holes on Tuesday to shoot an impressive 3-under par 69. Gonzalez’s second round has him as the first-round leader after the first day. He leads second-place Thacher Neal of Alabama State by four strokes and third-place Ben Swaffield of Alabama State by five strokes.

As a team, the Aggies are two shots off the lead after posting a 17-over 593 over two rounds. They trail Alabama State (591) and they lead third-place Hampton by 14 strokes. N.C. A&T has two other golfers in the top-10

Sophomore Stefan Holczer is in contention in fourth place. Holczer shot 1-over in the first round and 2-over in the second to finish six strokes behind his teammate, Gonzalez. Sophomore Cody Lisner is tied for eighth place after Day 1. Lisner overcame a 6-over 78 first round to shoot 73 in the second round to finish 7-over.

The Aggies have two other golfers in contention for top-10 honors by tournament’s end with freshman Xavier Williams in 13th place at 11-over and sophomore Casey Lindo in 15th place at 14-over.

“I’m pleased with the effort of each player,” said N.C. A&T coach Richard Watkins. “Thirty-six holes makes it a very long day, and everyone kept grinding. The new guys are good and the returning players are playing much better, consequently, we had a better team performance.”

Gonzalez made four birdies and four bogeys in the first round before blazing the course with six birdies in the second round. He was plus-1 on par-5’s in the first round before four of Gonzalez’s birdies came on par-4’s in the second. He also recovered on the par-5’s by shooting 1-under on the three par-5’s on the course.

Holczer also got stronger in the second round. He made three birdies on the second 18 holes. He took care of the three par-5’s by birdieing two of them. In the first round, he bogeyed three holes on the front nine before birdieing two holes and bogeying only one hole on the back nine.

Meanwhile, Lisner had a birdie-free first round with six bogeys. But like Gonzalez and Holczer, Lisner was strong in round 2. Lisner bounced back with three birdies made. Lisner’s birdie onslaught included one on the par-3, 179-yard No 7. He also took care of the par-5, 520-yard No. 12 and the par-4, 386-yard No. 18 to finish out his day.

The Aggies return to action Wednesday in an effort to overcome ASU to make school history.