What You Need to Know:
* The Georgia State men’s golf team shot a 2-under 282 to stand in a tie for fifth following the opening round of the Sun Belt Championship on Sunday at The Raven Golf Club in Miramar Beach, Fla.
* Freshman David Li shot a season-low tying 4-under 67 to stand in a tie for second place with 36 holes to play.
* The Panthers need to finish in the top four to reach match play for the third time in four years.


MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. – Led by a season-low tying 4-under 67 from freshman David Li, the Georgia State men’s golf team shot a 2-under 282 to stand in a tie for fifth place following the first round of the Sun Belt Championship at The Raven Golf Club.

Li made six birdies in his first conference championship appearance and is tied for second place, just one stroke off the lead, entering the second round on Monday.

The Panthers, which are looking for a ninth conference championship, sit just one stroke out of fourth place. The top four teams qualify for match play on Wednesday. Georgia State has reached the match play portion of the tournament in two of the last three years.

“We came out with an aggressive mindset today and it got us off to a good start,” head coach Chad Wilson said. “As we talked about as a team, you can’t win the championship on the first day, but you definitely lose it. We have put ourselves in a good position with two days to play. David played some really great golf today. He got off to a solid start and kept it rolling.”

Juniors Josh Edgar and Egill Gunnarsson are tied for 14th place after day one as both shot a 1-under 70. Edgar got off to a hot start with birdies on his first three holes, while Gunnarsson made two birdies and just one bogey.

Senior James Kyles added a 4-under 75 and is tied for 50th, while sophomore Owen Sertl shot a 6-over 77 and is tied for 56th.

Coastal Carolina and Little Rock are tied for the lead after each shot rounds of 6-under 278. Georgia Southern is in third place at 5-under par, with No. 28 Arkansas State in fourth at 3-under par. The Panthers are tied with Texas State, UT Arlington, and UL Monroe for fifth at 2-under par.

Arkansas State’s Luka Naglic shot a 5-under 66 and leads the 60-player field by one stroke. Li is tied with Little Rock’s Justin Warren and Coastal Carolina’s Wes Artac for second place at 4-under par. Texas State’s Logan Lockwood and UL Monroe’s Guillaume are tied for fifth at 3-under par.

Since 1998, Georgia State has finished in the top three in the conference tournament all but four times with eight titles and eight second-place finishes.

Since adding the match play format three years ago, the Panthers have advanced twice compiling a 3-1 record and a 13.5-6.5 individual match record during that stretch.

Georgia State will be paired with Troy and Appalachian State, teeing off at 8:30 a.m. ET on Hole No. 1 on Monday. Live scoring of the event will be available at GolfStat.com while television coverage will be provided on ESPN+.

With a conference championship win, Georgia State will automatically earn a spot into NCAA Regional play which will be played May 12-15 at six national sites including Athens, Ga., Ames, Iowa, Simpsonville, Ky., Mullets Inlet, S.C., Stanford, Calif., and Pullman, Wash. The NCAA championship is scheduled for May 24-29 at The Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark.