The Coastal Georgia men’s golf team got off to a strong start to their pursuit of a national title Tuesday at the NAIA Championship in Mesa, Ariz.

Competing on the 6,925-yard, par-71 Hilly Desert Course of the Las Sendas Golf Club, the Mariners shot a 14-over 298 in Round 1.

At the time of press, Coastal Georgia’s score was good for fourth place with 15 of the 30 teams still on the course. Texas Wesleyan is atop the leaderboard after shooting a 9-over 293.

“On the front nine today, we were playing great, 1-over after nine then we ran in some problems,” Mariners head coach Mike Cook said in a statement. “But we are in good position.”

Slick greens and a stiff breeze made for tough conditions on the opening day of play. Coastal’s Mark David Johnson, the second-ranked player in the country, shot a 1-over 72, which tied him with a group of golfers that include teammate Jackson Lawlor for two strokes back of the individual lead.

No. 3-ranked Eli Scott and Chip Thompson each shot a 6-over 77 in the first round, while Shaun Margeson finished with an 82 in his first start of the year.

Coastal Georgia tees off in the second round today at 3:10 p.m. EST.

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