DAUFUSKIE ISLAND, South Carolina – One week after a tough opening to his season, UNCW senior Payne McLeod rebounded with a one-under-par 71 to lead UNCW in the opening round of the Rees Jones Invitational at Haig Point.

McLeod used five birdies to finish the first round tied for fifth overall. The Seahawks carded an eight-over-par 296 and are in fifth overall entering the second round on Monday. UNCW holds a two-stroke lead over East Carolina and 20th-ranked and host South Carolina.

South Florida leads the 12-team field after combining to go two-under-par for the first round. The Bulls lead Kennesaw State by four strokes. Charlotte and 43rd-ranked Liberty, the defending tournament champion, are tied for third.

Only three strokes separate UNCW (296) and Troy (299) and Middle Tennessee State (299), who are both tied for eighth.

USF’s Chase Koepka (68) heads up the leader board at four-under-par.

Senior Stefan Brewer joined McLeod in the top-10 with an opening round of even-par golf. He, along with McLeod, moved into UNCW’s all-time top-10 in rounds played with 100 career rounds played each.

Josh Woodfox will tee off first on Monday for the Seahawks at 9:40 a.m. The Seahawks will be pair with Kennesaw State and Charlotte for the second round.

UNCW Results: T5. Payne McLeod (71); T9. Stefan Brewer (72); T32. Ryan Nagy (75);T47.  Josh Woodfox (78); T66. Preston Harrington (82).

UNCW Individual Results: T66. Thomas Lilly (82)

Birdies For Kaitlyn: 15 (McLeod 5)

Team Leaderboard: 1. South Florida (286); 2. Kennesaw State (290); T3. Charlotte (291); T3. Liberty (291); 5. UNCW (296); T6. East Carolina (298); T6. South Carolina (298); T8. Troy (299); T8. Middle Tennessee State (299); 10. Georgia State (304); 11. Winthrop (307); 12. Charleston Southern (311)

Individual Leaderboard:1. Chase Koepka (USF) 68; T2. Al Dickens (ECU) 70; T2. Chris Guglielmo (KSU) 70; T2. Raoul Menard (CHA) 70; T5. Rigel Fernandes (USF) 71; T5. Michael Hocker* (LIB) 71; T5. Payne McLeod (UNCW) 71; T5. Jake Tucker (TROY) 71; T9. Seven tied

*playing as an individual