SILVIS, Ill.—In its third consecutive NAIA National Championship appearance, the Fire fought through an up-and-down day at TPC Deere Run.
Through three holes, the Fire were 3-under par as a team. However, over the next three holes, the Fire were 11-over as a team, finishing the day with a team score of 311.
Sun Conference foe Keiser is the overall team leader after 18 holes with a score of 279.
Senior Carlos Ardila led the way for SEU, shooting a 1-over 72 on the day. The Colombian birdied the first two holes of the day, but bogeyed three straight, before playing even the final four holes of the front nine.
On the back nine, Ardila responded with a pair of birdies, five pars, and two bogyes to play even. This included a long putt for birdie from the back of the green on the 200-yard, Par 3 12th.
“I just needed to stay calm through the last few holes,” said Ardila. “I just wanted to follow my game plan and it worked.”
Ardila heads into the second round in a tie for 32nd.
Jacob Soucinek was four over in the first round, playing one-over on the front nine with two birdies. Landry Miller was three shots back with a 78, carding two birdies and eight pars.
David Ramirez rounded out the lineup with a total of 86.
The Fire will begin the second round of play on Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. on the 10th Hole.