March 22, 2013
Greenville, S.C. - Western Carolina has two golfers inside the top 10 - and three in the top 25 individually - to sit in fourth place in the overall team standings just seven-strokes off the lead after the opening round of the 44th Annual Furman Intercollegiate held Friday at the par-72, 6,994-yard Furman University Golf Club.
Second round play is set to begin at 8:00 am on Saturday with the final round slated for Sunday morning. WCU is among the last pairings off the front nine with tee times ranging from 1:00 pm through 1:40 pm.
Sophomore J.T. Poston is amidst a four-way tie for the individual lead after shooting a four-under 68 in the opening round while senior teammate Steven Smith is tied with three others in seventh with a two-under par 70 to lead the Catamounts. The duo is tied for second in the tournament with six birdies apiece.
Collectively, WCU carded its lowest round of the spring season at one-under, 287.
Opening on the back nine, Poston carded three birdies through his first six holes before a bogey on the par-3 16th to make the turn at two-under par. He matched his front nine with three birdies on the back, bogeying the par-4 seventh to again shoot two-under for a total of four-under par, 68.
Smith's round was equally as uniform with three birdies and two bogies a side for the Kirknewton, Scotland, native. He was twice at three-under for his round before scoring bogey on two of his final three holes of the day. Smith stands tied for the tournament lead in par-3 scoring (2.50, -2) as well as par-5 scoring (4.00, -4) with Poston.
In his first tournament action of the month, junior Jack Walsh fired a one-over par 73 to stand tied for 23rd entering the second round. Walsh countered a pair of back nine bogies with two birdies on the front to stand even with two holes to play. However, he bogeyed the par-3 eighth to finish at one-over, his lowest round of the season.
Rounding out WCU's side is senior Kyle Wilson in a tie for 58th at four-over, 76, and junior Greg Bunner in a tie for 82nd overall at six-over, 78. Wilson turned at two-over and moved back to within a stroke of par with a birdie on the par-4 first hole. However, he carded bogey on three of his final eight holes to finish four-over.
Bunner settled after four bogies in his first seven holes, moving to within two strokes of par with four holes to play. However, the Gastonia, N.C., product finished bogey, bogey and double-bogey for six-over for the round.
Joining Poston atop the individual leader board is Trevor Cone of Virginia Tech, Troy's Jake Tucker and M.J. Maquire, the 31st-ranked golfer according to the latest GolfStat rankings. Combined, 16 golfers broke par on Friday and are within four strokes of the overall lead.
With three individuals inside the top 10, Virginia Tech holds a four-stroke lead over second-place North Florida, which entered the tournament ranked 17th by GolfStat. The Hokies shot 280 in the opening round while North Florida carded a team 284. Winthrop is third at 285, two strokes ahead of the Catamounts in fourth at 287 with Southern Conference foe - and the 44th-ranked team in the nation - Chattanooga in fifth, three strokes behind WCU.
Other notables including SoCon foes Wofford (296) in 11th followed by Samford (297) and tournament host Furman in a tie for 16th after an opening round 305.
Round two is scheduled for 8:00 am tee times on Saturday. Live scoring is available online at GolfStat Results.