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Poston Leads, WCU Shares Top Spot at SoCon Championship

Western Carolina's J.T. Poston leads the field after the first round at the 2014 Southern Conference Championship. (Photo courtesy of

April 20, 2014

2014 Southern Conference Men's Golf Championship - Round 1 Results Get Acrobat Reader

Pinehurst, N.C. - With matching rounds of six-over par, 294, both Western Carolina and Davidson sit tied atop the team leader board after 18 holes at the 2014 Southern Conference Men's Golf Championships being held at the par-72, 7,122-yard National Golf Club. The Catamounts' J.T. Poston holds the individual lead at 4-under 68.

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 one-under par, 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. Will Evans of Georgia Southern and UNCG's Roy Dixon sit in a tie for third at one-under 71.

The second round will tee off at 8:00 am on Monday, with Elon and Samford getting things started. The final set of teams, Davidson, Western Carolina and Furman, will start at 10:30.

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 nine-over, 297.

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).

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.

Lail, a sophomore from Conover, N.C., countered a pair of bogies with a birdie on the front nine to make the turn at one-over par. He moved back to even with a birdie on the par-5 10th followed by three-consecutive pars. Lail finished with two bogies and a third birdie over his final five holes to shoot 73.

Also for the Catamounts, junior Matthew Turner fired a four-over par, 76, to stand in a tie for 20th after the opening round with redshirt junior Collin Witiak tied for 27th after shooting five-over par, 77, on Sunday. Turner finished with 10 pars, six bogies and a pair of birdies in his opening round. Witiak birdied his first hole of the day but charted three bogies on the front and two holes over par on the back nine for his opening round.

Rounding out WCU's scoring five was freshman Nont Panayanggool at 10-over, 82nd, in a tie for 44th overall. The rookie had nine holes of bogey-or-worse with one double-bogey.

Live stats can be found at 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