March 29, 2014
Greenville, S.C. - Western Carolina junior J.T. Poston carded six birdies en route to an opening-round, four-under par, 68, on Friday to stand in second-place after 18 of the 54 holes at the 45th-annual Furman Intercollegiate. Including Poston, the Catamounts have three golfers inside the individual top 30 to stand tied for fifth overall, just four strokes off the pace entering Saturday's second round.
Virginia Tech's Trevor Cone leads the 111-golfer field by two strokes over Poston after shooting six-under par, 66, as the Hokies are out in front of the 18-team field by two strokes. Cone, ranked 69th in the country according to the latest GolfStat Rankings - and one of five nationally-ranked individuals in the tournament - charted seven birdies and one bogey on Friday. Georgia State's J.J. Grey and Brandon Matthews from Temple both shot 69 to sit in a tie for third.
Collectively, Virginia Tech shot three-under par, 285, to sit just ahead of both USC Upstate and Georgia State at one-under, 287. Kennesaw State is third at even-par 288 with WCU and Charleston Southern knotted at one-over par, 289, to round out the top five.
Opening on the back nine, Poston carded three-consecutive birdies to start the day before a bogey on the par-3 14th to move to two-under for the round. He countered the bogey with a birdie on the next hole, the par-5 15th, to return to three-under until a bogey on No. 17 left him at two-under at the turn. On the front nine, the Hickory, N.C., native carded seven pars and two birdies to finish at four-under for the round.
Junior Matthew Turner and freshman teammate Evan Smith are tied for 28th after the first round, firing matching rounds of one-over par, 73. Turner overcame four-straight bogies on the back nine, making the turn at four-over par before carding three birdies on the front to finish at one-over. Smith had a much busier opening round, countering two double-bogies and two bogies with four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 15th. The Bluefield, W.Va., product opened his day at four-under par after the eagle before finishing the final 13 holes at five over.
Playing unattached as an individual, WCU freshman Nont Panayanggool is 110th overall after a first-round 83.
Paired with golfers from Charleston Southern and Temple, WCU's scoring five is slated to tee off beginning at 12:30 pm on the front nine. Playing unattached as an individual, Panayanggool will also go off the front beginning at Noon.
Fans can follow the tournament with live scoring through GolfStatResults.com.