Poston, ranked 13th nationally, turned in a blemish-free round Sunday, opening with a birdie before running off eight straight pars to make the turn at 1-under 35. The junior from Hickory, N.C., then birdied the first three holes of the back nine before closing with another six pars to sit at 4-under after the first round of play.
Poston holds a two-stroke lead over Davidson’s David Sargent, who turned in a 2-under 70 on day one. Sargent’s round was nearly perfect, as he countered his lone bogey on the day with three birdies.
Georgia Southern’s Will Evans and UNCG’s Roy Dixon sit in a tie for third at 1-under 71.
The top five in the team standings are all within three strokes of each other. Furman and Georgia Southern sit two shots back of Davidson and Western Carolina in a tie for third at 8-over 296, while two-time defending SoCon champion Chattanooga is in fifth at 9-over 297.
In finishing the first round in the lead, Davidson and Western Carolina each put two players in the top 10. The Wildcats’ Sam Echikson is tied for fifth at even-par 72, while WCU’s Tyler Lail is a shot back in a six-way tie for seventh.
GSU has a pair in the top 10 in Evans and Hayden Anderson (t7th, +1, 73), while the Furman duo of Preston Cole and Preston Heyward are among the tie for seventh at 1-over 73.
UNCG freshman Carter Jenkins shot an even-par 72 to sit in a tie for fifth, one stroke back of his teammate Dixon, while Elon’s Will DiIanni and Chattanooga’s Liam Johnston are part of the seventh-place tie and round out the top 10.
UNCG is sixth in the team standings after an opening-round 12-over 300. Wofford is in seventh at 306, followed by Appalachian State (310), Samford (314) and Elon (316).
The second round will tee off at 8 a.m. Monday, with Elon and Samford getting things started. The final set of teams, Davidson, Western Carolina and Furman, will start at 10:30.
Live stats can be found at www.golfstatresults.com and will be updated every three holes. The 54-hole tournament will conclude Tuesday, with the team winner and individual medalist earning automatic bids to the NCAA regionals.
2014 Southern Conference Men’s Golf Championship
National Golf Club
Par-72, 7,122 yards
Top 10 individuals
1. J.T. Poston, Western Carolina 68
2. David Sargent, Davidson 70
T3. Will Evans, Georgia Southern 71
T3. Roy Dixon, UNCG 71
T5. Carter Jenkins, UNCG 72
T5. Sam Echikson, Davidson 72
T7. Tyler Lail, Western Carolina 73
T7. Preston Cole, Furman 73
T7. Preston Heyward, Furman 73
T7. Will DiIanni, Elon 73
T7. Hayden Anderson, Georgia Southern 73
T7. Liam Johnston, Chattanooga 73
T1. Davidson College 294
T1. Western Carolina 294
T3. Furman 296
T3. Georgia Southern 296
5. Chattanooga 297
6. UNCG 300
7. Wofford College 306
8. Appalachian State 310
9. Samford 314
10. Elon 316