ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. --- Defending champion Vanderbilt had three players shoot under par to help the Commodores grab the first-round lead at the 2018 Southeastern Conference Men's Golf Championship at Sea Island Golf Club on Wednesday.
Playing the par-70, 6,898-yard layout on the Seaside Course, the Commodores landed at 4-under 276 for a 4-stroke lead over Tennessee and Auburn and a 5-stroke cushion over LSU.
Theo Humphrey and Will Gordon paced the Commodores each with a 2-under 68, followed by John Augenstein at 1-under 69. Patrick Martin rounded out the scoring with a 1-over 71.
"I was really proud of how we hung in there as a team," Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said. "Will and John made some really big momentum putts early in the round, and Theo just played well start to finish and was in control of his game. ... We know what happened last year, but we haven't talked about it much. We know there are some great teams in our conference, and we just want to be the best that we can be and see where that puts us."
LSU's Eric Gagne secured the first-round individual lead as he signed for a 4-under 66. Gagne picked up six birdies on Wednesday, including three in a row on Nos. 14-16.
Tennessee's Lorenzo Scalise stands second at 3-under 69, followed by Humphrey, Gordon, Alabama's Lee Hodges, and Auburn teammates Brandon Mancheno and Trace Crowe at 2-under 68.
The second round will take place on Thursday, followed by the final round of stroke play on Friday. The top eight teams after 54 holes will advance to match play beginning on Saturday. The individual medalist will be crowned after three rounds as well.
Live scoring and tee times can be at golfstat.com.