Sept. 9, 2013
Myrtle Beach, S.C. - Western Carolina junior J.T. Poston continues to pace the field at the Golfweek Program Challenge, standing in a tie for first-place through 36 holes in the season-opening event. Poston carded a second round, three-under par, 69, to be in the clubhouse at nine-under, 135, entering Tuesday's final round. As a team, the Catamounts sit in a two-way tie for sixth, just three strokes out of the top five.
Combined with the women's squad's 599 through the first two rounds, Western Carolina sits fifth overall in the combined standings. James Madison, which paces the men's tournament and is second on the women's side, leads the program portion of the event by 12 strokes over runner-up, Jacksonville State, 1,150-to-1,162. Defending champion, Campbell, is third with a combined 1,166 strokes followed by Old Dominion (1,168) and WCU with a collective, two-day total of 1,177.
Paired with golfers from both Northern Iowa and Gardner-Webb, WCU's scoring five tees off beginning at 7:30 am on the back nine Tuesday with Poston going off the back at 8:06 am.
Starting on the first hole, Poston matched his first round total of five birdies on the front nine, countering two bogies to make the turn at three-under par on Monday. He then played even-par golf over the final nine holes of his round to post the three-under, 69. He is tied with Valparaiso's Peter Webb atop the leader board after Webb backed up his opening round 67 with a three-under 68 in the second round.
Trey Smith from James Madison sits in third, just a stroke off the pace with Akron's J.B. Williams (137) and Jose Pablo Segurola of IUPUI in fifth, five strokes in arrears at 140.
For the Catamounts, sophomore Tyler Lail trimmed four strokes off his opening round, two-over par 74 with a career-low round of two-under, 70, on Monday. He advanced 12 spots in the standings into an eight-way tie for 17th at 144. The Conover, N.C., native posted a solid round with 14 pars and three birdies to counter one bogey. Through the first two rounds, Lail has seven birdies.
Collin Witiak moved up one position in the rankings into a tie for 35th overall with a two-over par, 74, which was a stroke better than his opening round, 75. Witiak played even through the first seven holes before a double-bogey on the par-4 eighth left him at two-over par at the turn. Following a birdie on the par-5 10th, he was poised to finish his round at one-over until bogeying No. 18 for a second-consecutive day left him at two-over for the round.
Rounding out WCU's scorers are Greg Bunner in a tie for 44th overall, and Matthew Turner in a tie for 53rd in the standings. A senior out of Gastonia, N.C., Bunner overcame a triple-bogey on the par-4 sixth and bogey on No. 8 by scoring birdie on three of his next seven holes, pulling back to one-over for the round with six to play. However, a double-bogey on the par-4 18th left him at three-over, 75, matching his opening round. Turner had a relatively quiet round with 14 pars but four bogies including three on the front nine relegated him to four-over par, 76.
James Madison leads the 12-team men's field by a stroke over second-place, IUPUI, 564-to-565. Akron sits in third place, seven strokes off the pace at 571. Jacksonville State (574) and Old Dominion (575) round out the top five teams. The two teams tied for sixth - WCU and Valpo - both have the two individual leaders.
Play in the season-opening event concludes on Tuesday with live scoring available through GolfStatResults.com.