Madison, Wisc.-- After the morning practice round was dampened by heavy rains, the clouds broke and gave way to bright sunny skies and near perfect golfing conditions. One benefit of the morning rains was that the greens were softened, helping to create low rounds across the board.
The Michigan State Spartans took advantage of the gorgeous conditions to take the first-round lead at six-under. Freshman Ryan Brehm and sophomore Matt Harmon each turned in scores of four-under to fuel the lead. Senior Jimmy Chestnut did his part by shooting even par in the first round.
On the individual leaderboard, Indiana senior Jeff Overton set the new collegiate course record and tied the total course mark with a seven-under, 65. With five birdies in his last eight holes, Overton paced the Hoosiers and moved them into second place at five-under.
In third, the Minnesota Golden Gophers finished four shots back, at three-under. The Maroon and Gold were led by senior Ben Greve and sophomore Niall Turner. Including an eagle on the par-5 second, Greve shot a four-under to finish tied for second after 18. Turner finished with a two-under, 70.
Also near the top of the individual standings is Penn State's Mark Leon. His three-under was the low round for the Lions. Northwestern's Chris Wilson finished at two-under, tied with Turner.
Ohio State has a pair at one-under after the first 18 holes. Sophomore Colin Biles and freshman Michael Haverfield paced the Buckeyes to a fourth place finish at two-over.
The Purdue Boilermakers, led by sophomores Pariya Junhasavasdikul (-1) and Peter Richardson (E), and the host Wisconsin Badgers tied for fifth place at four-over. The Badgers were led by Garrett Jones' two-under par.
The second set of 18 holes will tee off at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. The forecast does show a chance of isolated thunderstorms making their presence felt on Saturday. Log onto www.BigTen.org for the latest information on the 2005 Big Ten Men's Golf Championships.