Gardner-Webb's Aaron Thomas Tied For Second After Opening Day Of 2017 Gary Koch Invitational

Tim Cowie Photo  |
Tim Cowie Photo |

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GASTONIA, N.C. – Aaron Thomas stayed near the top of the leaderboard all day and finished in a tie for second after 36 holes to pace Gardner-Webb at the 2017 Gary Koch Invitational.

The event is being played on the 7,042-yard, Par 72 course at the Gaston Country Club.

Thomas (67-70-137), a junior from nearby Mt. Holly, N.C., shot a red-hot 67 over his first 18 holes of the day and was tied for the lead after the turn in the second round. He and NC State's Jacob McBride sit at 7-under par – one stroke behind leader Jamie Mist of Jacksonville State heading into Tuesday's action.

Thomas led Monday's two rounds with a combined 12 birdies and ranked among the tournament leaders in both Par 4 and Par 5 scoring.

Gardner-Webb (293-298-591) is tied with Southern Illinois in 10th position out of 14 teams in a strong field after two rounds. Co-host Auburn (282-277-559) leads NC State atop the team leaderboard by five strokes.

Thomas was followed on the Runnin' Bulldogs leaderboard by Vincent Blanchette (71-77-148) in a tie for 37th. Chris Jones (76-76-152) finished the day tied for 59th, Steffen Smith (79-76-155) was tied for 72nd after 36 holes and Jonathan Henry (82-76-158) capped the team scoring for Gardner-Webb with a tie for 76th.

The teams will get back on the course Tuesday morning.