April 21, 2013
Daniel Island, S.C. - Western Carolina has two golfers tied for 28th in sophomore J.T. Poston and senior Steven Smith as the Catamounts carded a team 324 on a blustery Sunday to stand 10th out of the 11-team field after 18 holes of the 2013 Southern Conference Men's Golf Championship at the Daniel Island Club's par-72, 7,446-yard Ralston Creek Course.
All but one golfer in the 55-player field finished over par as persistent wind gusts were around 25 mph for much of the day.
Poston and Smith both shot eight-over par 80 in the opening round to sit amidst a six-way tie for 28th overall, nine strokes off the first round pace set by individual leader, Todd Eckstein of Davidson. Eckstein was the only golfer to break par on Sunday, shooting one-under, 71, to lead the 55-golfer field. UNCG's Taylor Coalson and Steven Fox from Chattanooga shot even-par, 72, tied for the runner-up spot entering Monday's second round.
Behind Eckstein's solid start, Davidson leads the field, holding a one-stroke advantage over second-place Chattanooga. As a team, Davidson put three players in the top 10, with Sam Echikson shooting a 2-over 74 to sit in a tie for fifth and Richard Fountain posting a 3-over 75 to tie for seventh. John Skeadas is tied for 13th at 5-over 77 as the Wildcats turned in a team score of 297 on day one with UTC a stroke back at 298.
Appalachian State shot 305, eight strokes in arrears of the leader, to sit third followed by the College of Charleston (309) and Elon (312) rounding out the top five.
Samford shot 314 to sit sixth overall followed by a two-way tie for seventh at 315 between Georgia Southern and UNCG. Furman is ninth at 320, with WCU (324) and Wofford (332) rounding out the 11-team field.
Smith carded nine pars with Poston scoring eight in Sunday's opening round, both tallying two birdies on the windy day. Smith played both the front and back nine at four-over par for his eight-over on the day, while Poston overcame back-to-back double bogies on the third and fourth holes, shooting five-over on the front to card a three-over back nine. The two rank among the tournament leaders in par-4 scoring.
Jack Walsh is a stroke back with a first round 81, likewise posting two birdies with six pars. Making the turn at four-over, Walsh double-bogeyed the par-4 No. 10 to move to six-over before closing his round with four bogies and one birdie for the nine-over.
Walsh ranked among the tourney leaders in par-3 scoring at even-par (3.00).
Rounding out WCU's scoring five is Collin Witiak and Greg Bunner, both at 11-over par, 83, in a tie for 47th overall. Bunner played the front nine the best of any Catamount on Sunday, making the turn at three-over par after charting three bogies. However, two triple bogies on the back nine coupled with two more bogies left him at 11-over for the round. Witiak posted eight pars in the opening round, but had three double bogies and six bogies against just one birdie on the day.
Bunner ranks tied for eighth with 11 pars through the opening round.
Monday's second round tees off at 8:00 am, with Western Carolina and Wofford going off first. Leaders Davidson, Chattanooga and Appalachian State begin teeing off at 10:30 am.