Sapphire, N.C. Two Western Carolina freshmen sat inside the individual top 10 after 18 holes at the inaugural J.T. Poston Invitational on Monday at the par-71, 6,767-yard Country Club of Sapphire Valley before weather interfered in the second 18 holes. First-year Catamount strikers Magnus Pedersen and Pierre Viallaneix both carded career-low rounds of 4-under par 67 to sit in a four-way tie for ninth to lead WCU to seventh-place as rain forced the suspension of the second round.
Monday's first day of competition endured a mid-afternoon weather suspension in place as heavy rain quickly made the pristine valley course unplayable. After the short delay, play resumed only to have another slow-moving weather cell move across the mountains again chasing teams back to the clubhouse and ultimately causing the second round to be halted by tournament officials as recovering the course was not an option before the onset of darkness.
Teams have anywhere from 11-to-15 holes remaining in the second round, which will resume at 8:30 am on Tuesday morning before moving directly into the third and final round with a second day of continuous play. Live scoring will be available of Tuesday's rounds through GolfStat, online at CatamountSports.com.
Defending tournament champion Georgia Southern picked-up right where it left off in its first trip to the western North Carolina course a season ago. The Eagles carded a tournament-record low round of 19-under par 265 in Monday's first round to carry an eight-stroke lead over VCU (273, -11) into the second round. Rounding out the top five were South Carolina, Kennesaw State, and Austin Peay State in a three-way tie for third-place at 277.
Including first-round individual leader Jake Maples, who tied the lowest individual 18-hole round in tournament history with a 6-under par round of 65, Georgia Southern has three golfers inside the event's top three. GSU's Mason Williams and Colin Bowles were amongst a seven-way tie for the runner-up spot entering the second round.
For the Catamounts, Pedersen carded 15 pars, two birdies and an eagle on the par-5 14th in recording his best round as a collegian. Viallaneix had a more up-and-down first round, countering a pair of bogeys with four birdies and likewise shooting eagle on the 14th hole to lead the duo into the individual top 10.
Rounding WCU's scoring five are three golfers tied for 54th after the opening round with matching scores of 2-over par, 73. Redshirt freshman Tyler Bussert overcame six bogeys with four birdies while Tumi Kúld charted four bogeys with a pair of birdies for 2-over rounds. Freshman Quinton Metz also penciled in four birdies, but was relegated to 2-over with three bogeys and a costly triple-bogey on the par-4 15th early in his first round.
Playing unattached as individuals, sophomore Michael Coe is in a tie for 46th with a 1-over round of 72, while sophomore Louis Theys is tied for 71st (75) and junior Zach Caudill is tied for 82nd (78).
Tuesday's resumption of the second round and subsequent final 18 holes is scheduled for an 8:30 am start time. Follow with LIVE scoring through GolfStat.
*NOTE: Tournament namesake WCU's all-time leading men's golf scorer and current PGA Tour professional J.T. Poston, was on-site both Sunday night for the player's banquet and again Monday morning for the start of the tournament.
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7 Western Carolina 280 (-4)
T9 Magnus Pedersen 67 (-4)
T9 Pierre Viallaneix 67 (-4)
T54 Tyler Bussert 73 (+2)
T54 Tumi Kúld 73 (+2)
T54 Quinton Metz 73 (+2)
T46 Michael Coe 72 (+1)
T71 Louis Theys (ind.) 75 (+4)
T82 Zach Caudill (ind.) 78 (+7)