March 3, 2014
Hoover, Ala. - Western Carolina junior J.T. Poston carded an opening round even-par 72 on Monday to stand in third place after 18 holes at the Samford Intercollegiate on a cold and blustery day at the par-72, 7,001-yard Hoover Country Club. Led by Poston, the Catamounts are third in the 16-team field after one round of play, just two strokes outside of the runner-up position.
Winter-like conditions greeted the 90-golfer field on Monday. Even with a forecasted high temperature of 41, temperatures were just in the mid-30s by the middle of the afternoon. As a result, course and tournament officials met to discuss rate of play with the decision to shorten the opening day to 27 holes rather than the scheduled 36. Teams will complete the second round on Tuesday morning before playing the final 18.
Western Carolina put four of its scoring five into the top 30 after the opening round. With four total birdies and the tournament's only par-4 scoring average under par (3.88, -1), Poston paced the Catamounts, just three strokes off the pace set by UAB's Paul Dunne who shot three-under par, 69. Dunne's teammate, Thomas Sutton, is two strokes in arrears with a one-under par, 71, on Monday to sit in the runner-up spot.
Behind Poston, freshman Nont Panayanggool is in a three-way tie for 26th with an opening round 78 with junior Matthew Turner and freshman Evan Smith amidst a five-way tie for 29th, one stroke back after shooting seven-over, 79. Junior transfer Braydon Obremski (90, t-82nd) rounded out the Catamount scoring five.
With the top two players - and three golfers inside the top five overall - UAB leads the field after shooting a team 290, just two over par, in the opening round. South Alabama is second after shooting 306, two strokes ahead of Western Carolina at 308. Rounding out the top five teams is a two-way tie for fourth between Austin Peay and Bowling Green, four strokes back at 312.
Teams are slated to complete the second round on Tuesday morning before playing the final 18 to complete the 54-hole tournament.