The first day is in the books at the All-American Intercollegiate in Humble and the Kats find themselves in the middle of the pack of a very talented group of collegiate golfers.

The Bearkats fired an opening round 3-under par round and currently sit in 8th place in the 18-team field which includes five squads ranked in the top 50. They are just four shots back of a three-way tie for fifth and are 11 back of the co-leaders Auburn and Houston.

“We played well today and just made a few mistakes coming in or we would be right with the leaders,” said head coach Brandt Kieschnick. “It’s our first competitive round since November 1, so I was proud of the guys finishing under par for the day.  Going back to the fall, that was our fourth or fifth straight under par round as a team.”

Noah Steele led the way for the Kats with five birdies on the day and currently sits in fifth at 4-under. Jake McCrory is just a shot back after shooting a bogey-free round of 69.

“I was proud of Noah and Jake leading the team today with two great rounds. They played flawless and stuck to the game plan,” Kieschnick said “They kept the ball on the right side of the hole and made some putts.

Steele played his best golf on the par 4’s, going 3-under, which was the second-best amongst a field of 99 golfers, including 10 who are individually ranked nationally.

The second round gets underway Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. from the Golf Club of Houston, home of the PGA’s Shell Houston Open. The Kats will be paired with North Texas and No. 13 ranked Wake Forest.