University of Louisville sophomore Max Kennedy shot a 4-under-par 66 to lead the Cardinals to fourth place after the first round of the Maui Jim Intercollegiate in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Friday afternoon at the Mirabel Golf Club.

The Cardinals fired a 7-under-par 273 to stand in fourth place, which is just nine shots behind the first-round leader Georgia Tech, who is at 16-under. Clemson is in second place at 14-under-par, while Auburn is in third place at 9-under-par.

Opening the fall season, the Cardinals, who are replacing four seniors, trotted out a relatively new team on the course, and looked like the team didn’t skip a beat after last season’s ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

Kennedy carded a personal best 66 to sit in a tie for seventh after one round. The second-year player posted a team-best six birdies to pace the Cards on Friday. He would birdie No. 13, No. 17 and No. 18 and recorded three more on the front nine.

Chris Francoeur, a transfer from Rhode Island is in a tie for 17th place after shooting a 2-under-par 68. He opened with a birdie on No. 10 and No. 13 and also mustered a birdie on No. 6. Walker Franklin was also under par after shooting a 2-under 68 to tie with Francoeur for 17th place overall. Nick Tenuta is tied for 27th place after shooting a 1-under-par 69.

Senior Jiri Zuska shot an even-par 70 to sit in a tie for 37th and Pierce Grieve is tied for 51st after firing a 1-over-par 71.

The Cardinals will tee off on Saturday morning to begin second-round action.

by Rocco Gasparro

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