GOODYEAR, Ariz., March 21 – Jake Holt shot 3-under par 68 for a share of sixth place and John Reid was two shots back and in 20th place Thursday to lead Southern Utah into a three-way tie for third place after the first round of the University of Denver’s 15-team Desert Shootout.

SUU shot its best round of the year, 280, to sit six shots behind leader Tulsa and five behind Brigham Young. The Thunderbirds were tied with host Denver and Colorado State, and were two shots up on Idaho and the University of Illinois heading into Friday’s second round at the par-71, 6,925-yard Palm Valley Golf Club.

SUU’s Tim Leonard and Sammy Cole were tied for 31st at even-par 71, while Taylor Schone rounded out the Thunderbirds’ entry in 93rd place with a round of 78. SUU’s Brady Welburn, competing as an individual, shot 77 for a share of 88th place.

Illinois’ Thomas Pieters held the first-round lead after firing a round of 65, one shot better than Wichita State’s Hunter Sparks and BYU’s Zachary Blair, leaving Holt just three shots off the lead.

Baylor and Wichita State were tied in eighth place at 283, followed by Nebraska at 285, and three teams tied at 286: Air Force, New Mexico State and Boise State. Kansas State followed in 14th place after shooting 288, with Kansas 15th at 291 and host Wyoming at 293.

-- SUU --