HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A strong day, led by Marshall's Nathan Kerns helped the Thundering Herd men's golf team finish day one and the first two rounds in second place at its own Marshall Invitational.
The event, in its 43rd year is being held at Guyan Golf and Country Club in Huntington.
Kerns, a senior, shot rounds of 69 and 67 for a 6-under-par total of 136. During the morning session, the Ironton, Ohio native had seven birdies on the back nine to fuel his afternoon session.
He is one shot behind Korey Ward of Xavier who shot a combined 7-under-par 135 on Monday.
"Nathan is a great kid and after the summer he had I was little worried he'd feel like there was little too much pressure on him to start his senior year, but I felt like he did a really good of playing the golf course the way he should have and not thinking about it too much," said head coach Matt Grobe, who made his debut with the Herd during Monday's action.
The Herd as a team posted identical scores of 282 in each round to sit at 4-under par. Marshall trails Virginia Tech, which used a record breaking second round score of 271and combined with their first round score of 277 shot 20-under-par to take a commanding 16 stroke lead.
The Hokies second round score broke the record of 273 set by Illinois in 2003.
Marshall has not finished as the invitational' s runner-up since 1983 and has not won since 1977, its only win in the history of the event.
Ohio State, the two-time defending champions shot a 3-under-par 565 over 36 holes to trail by one in third place.
In addition to the green and white's Kerns, Jeremy Rogers shot a 1-under-par in each round to put himself in a tie for 10th. Josh Holmes shot a 70 and 74, which placed him tied for 20th. Brian Anania had two rounds of 73 and Tas Sipowski rounded out the Herd's team scoring with a 76 and 72.
"It was a really good day and what I was most pleased about was that we able to finish a little bit," Grobe said. "Last year we didn't finish as well and today in both rounds I felt like our kids came to the end and either maintain or improve their work. It was good sign I believe in the maturity we gained from last year."
The third and final round begins at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday from Guyan.
FIRST & SECOND ROUND SCORING SUMMARY
Teams 1. Virginia Tech 277-271=548 (-20) 2. Marshall 282-282=564 (-4) 3 .Ohio State 282-283=565 (-3) 4. Western Kentucky 288-287=575 (+7) 5. Xavier 289-288=577 (+9) Miami 289-288=577 (+9)