Silvis, Ill. -- (Team Results / Individual Results) (Video Recap) Battling darkness over the last several holes, Cardinal Stritch came in late with a 5-over 289 to take the lead after the first round of the 2017 NAIA Men's Golf National Championships played at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.
Playing the same course where they won the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament just weeks ago, the Wolves have a four-shot lead on a tightly-grouped top seven at the 66th annual event.
Tyler Church led Cardinal Stritch with a 1-under 70. Teammate Antonio Maciel fired an even-par 71. Brian Murtagh carded a 73 and Joaquin Diaz shot a 75 for the Wolves.
Six other teams are within eight shots of the lead. Johnson & Wales (Fla.) is second with a 293. Jake Bauer led the Wildcats with a 70 after starting his round with a 2-under 33 on the front nine. Teammate Fraser Hall shot an even par 71.
Facing temperatures in the mid to upper 80s, Wayland Baptist and British Columbia shot matching 295s. Grand View, the only other team teeing off in the afternoon to crack the top seven, is fifth with a 296. William Woods and Arizona Christian are tied for sixth with 297s.
Defending champion and No. 1-ranked Oklahoma City University is one of three teams tied in 13th place after beginning its quest for an 11th national title with a 306.
Individually, Bauer and Church sit in a four-way tie for third place, a shot out of the lead. Texas Wesleyan's Rowan Lester and David Houlding of William Woods share the early lead after carding 2-under 69s.
Domenick Postorina from Arizona Christian and Ignacio Estrada from Southeastern are tied with Bauer and Church with 1-under 70s. Seven other players opened with even par 71s.
St. Ambrose University and the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau are serving as hosts of the National Championships, which are being competed at TPC Deere Run for the fifth time.
Second-round action in four-round event gets underway Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. CDT.