PINEHURST, N.C. – Two-time defending champion ETSU shot a 4-over-par 292 in round one and a 12-over 300 in round two on a cold and rainy Sunday to take a six-stroke lead into Monday’s final round of the Southern Conference Men’s Golf Championship at the par-72, 7,118-yard Pinehurst No. 9. Bolstered by a second-round hole-in-one, Bucs sophomore Geuntae Kim shot an even-par 144 on the day and carries a one-stroke advantage into the final round.
Monday’s tee times are set for 9 a.m. with the strong possibility of being pushed back by inclement weather predicted for the area. The teams played two rounds Sunday instead of the originally scheduled one because of the Monday forecast.
ETSU (592), which led by 11 strokes after the opening round, saw its lead shrink to six strokes in the second, as UNCG and Chattanooga closed the gap and finished tied at 22-over 598. The three teams have two players each in the top five.
Kim was tied for fourth at 1-over 73 after the morning round and turned in one of just two sub-par rounds on a dreary, wet afternoon, shooting a 71 to finish as the only player at even par. His ace came on the par-3 17th hole.
Kim is followed in the individual standings by Chattanooga’s Wes Gosselin, who turned in an even-par 72 after a morning 73 to sit one stroke back of Kim at 1-over 145. A pair of UNCG players are tied for third in Jonathan Brightwell and Josh Stockwell, who each fired a 2-over 146. Brightwell shot a 1-under 71 in the first round to hold a share of the lead but slipped two spots with a 4-over 75 in round two. Stockwell had a consistent day with a pair of 73s.
Chattanooga’s Etienne Brault and ETSU’s Trevor Hulbert are tied for fifth at 4-over 148. After turning in a 6-over 78 in round one, Brault fired the low round of the day in round two, carding four birdies in a 2-under 70 to vault 17 spots in the individual standings. Hulbert, who shared the round-one lead with Brightwell at 1-under, dropped four slots after a 5-over 77.
Chattanooga’s second-round 290 was the low team round of the day and moved the Mocs up two spots into a tie with UNCG in the runner-up position after a 308 in the morning. UNCG answered its first-round 303 with a 295 to pick up five strokes on the Bucs.
Western Carolina is in fourth at 605 (35-300), seven strokes back of UNCG and UTC, while Wofford is fifth at 610 (308-302). Furman (309-303=612) is another two strokes back in sixth, followed by Samford (308-312-620) and Mercer (317-305=622).
Samford’s Aaron Walker and Furman’s Bryce Howell are tied for seventh at 5-over 149. Four players are tied for ninth at 6-over 150, including Chattanooga’s Brooks Thomas, ETSU’s Ben Reichert, Western Carolina’s Bright Julamool and Wofford’s Drake Cassidy.
ETSU was in control from the start of round one, turning in the only sub-300 opening round to open up an 11-stroke lead over UNCG, which finished runner-up to the Bucs in each of the last two seasons. The Bucs put all four counting scores in the top eight in round one.
UNCG got off to a slow start on the day but rallied midway through the first round, with Brightwell playing the back nine at 3-under after going 2-over on the front nine to claim a share of the individual lead at 1-under 71. Stockwell joined Brightwell in the top five, tying for fourth with a 73 after 18 holes.
Live stats for Monday’s final round can be found on www.GolfStat.com.
2017 Southern Conference Men’s Golf Championship
Pinehurst No. 9
Par 72, 7,118 yards
Place Team Rd1 Rd2 Total
1 ETSU 292 300 592
T2 Chattanooga 308 290 598
T2 UNCG 303 295 598
4 Western Carolina 305 300 605
5 Wofford 308 302 610
6 Furman 309 303 612
7 Samford 308 312 620
8 Mercer 317 305 622
Place Team Rd1 Rd2 Total
1 Geuntae Kim, ETSU 73 71 144
2 Wes Gosselin, Chattanooga 73 72 145
T3 Jonathan Brightwell, UNCG 71 75 146
T3 Josh Stockwell, UNCG 73 73 146
T5 Etienne Brault, Chattanooga 78 70 148
T5 Trevor Hulbert, ETSU 71 77 148
T7 Aaron Walker, Samford 75 74 149
T7 Bryce Howell, Furman 72 77 149
T9 Brooks Thomas, Chattanooga 76 74 150
T9 Ben Reichert, ETSU 74 76 150
T9 Bright Julamool, Western Carolina 76 74 150
T9 Drake Cassidy, Wofford College 77 73 150
T9 Mateusz Gradecki, ETSU 74 76 150