The Charlotte golf team got off to a great start, posting the low round of the day at 10-under par (278) to lead by one stroke over VCU after round one of the 2013 Atlantic 10 Championships, being contested at the Par-72, 7,268-yard Heron Bay Golf Club in Coral Springs, Fla. The tournament will go three rounds, with round two Saturday morning and round three Sunday, with the first groups teeing off at 7:30 a.m.

With pairings based off last year’s finish, the 49ers played in the last group of the day, paired with Xavier and George Washington, with heavy winds moving in over the course in the afternoon.

“We had a really solid day today. Raoul played very well and was solid all day. After a bit of a slow start, Thomas and Franco had a great back nine. Joe got us off to a great start with three birdies to start his round. We played probably under the toughest conditions in the last group with heavy winds coming later in the afternoon. Under those conditions, to have the low round of the day is very impressive and something that I am proud of. We are really excited to get back out there tomorrow.”

Charlotte sophomore Raoul Menard (Ange-Gardier, Quebec City / Beaulieu) posted Charlotte’s low round of the day, at five-under par to sit at second place in the event, one stroke behind Rhode Island’s Branden Chicorka, who shot a 66 in round one. Menard, who won the event last year to earn Player and Rookie of the Year honors, posted two birdies and an eagle in the front nine, before three birdies and two bogeys on the back nine for his 67.

Charlotte had a pair of players shoot three-under to sit in a tie for fourth overall. Junior Franco Castro (Alpharetta, Ga. / LSU) and freshman Thomas Rowland (Consett, England / St. Bedes Catholic School and Sixth Form College) both posted a score of 69. Castro started at even par for five holes before a bogey on the sixth hole. He rallied for four birdies on his final 10 holes for the 69. Rowland also bogeyed the sixth before getting back to even par with the birdie on the seventh hole. His back nine included a bogey and four birdies for the 69.

Junior Joe Toland (White River Junction, Vt. / Hartford HS) had birdies on his first three holes, but finished with five bogeys and four birdies for a one-over par 73 for his opening round.

Tee times for round two are based on the leader board, so Charlotte will be paired with VCU and Temple in the final group of the day, starting around 10:30 a.m. The Owls are nine strokes back in third place.