Nov. 3, 2012
Sapphire, N.C. - Samford turned in a team score of two-under, 282, on Saturday to take a four-stroke lead after 18 of the 36 scheduled holes at the 2012 Hummingbird Intercollegiate being held at the par-71, 6,767-yard Country Club of Sapphire Valley. Tournament host Western Carolina carded a team 298 in the first round to stand tied with fellow Southern Conference member, Elon, in sixth place.
The final round is scheduled for Sunday with tee-times beginning at 8:00 am on both the front and back nine. Paired with golfers from Gardner-Webb and Francis Marion - teams tied for fourth after the opening round - WCU's first golfer tees off at 8:45 am on the Hole No. 1.
With three individuals inside the top seven, Samford leads second-place Belmont by four strokes after the Bruins shot two-over, 286. The Bulldogs' round of 282 is tied for the 13th best team score in event history. Wofford stands in third, six strokes in arrears, followed by the two-way tie between the Patriots and Runnin' Bulldogs of Francis Marion and Gardner-Webb, respectively, at 295.
Behind the two-way tie for sixth place between WCU and Elon is Appalachian State (300) in eighth, followed by Army (302) and a two-way tie for 10th-place between IPFW and High Point at 307. Guilford College, the 10th-ranked team in Division III according to GolfStat, is 12th at 309 with Colgate rounding out the 13-team field at 311.
Gardner-Webb's Daley Byles carded a four-under par, 67, on Saturday to pace the 82-golfer after the opening round. Byles round included five birdies, one bogey and 11 pars. He leads a two-way tie for the runner-up spot between Aston Van Horne of Belmont and Wofford's Cory Taylor, both of which posed a three-under, 68.
Leading the way for Western Carolina is true freshman Tyler Lail, who posted a career-low, even-par round of 71 on Saturday. Lail opened with a birdie on his first hole and carried the one-under into the par-4 eighth before a bogey moved him back to even. However, Lail managed a birdie on No. 9 to make the turn at one-under.
A bogey on the par-4 10th relegated the Conover, N.C., native back to even, finishing his final eight holes with another birdie and bogey to shoot even for the round.
Redshirt senior Kyle Wilson is in the clubhouse in a tie for 23rd overall, shooting a three-over 74. Wilson overcame two double bogies on his front nine with one birdie before opening his back nine with an Eagle on the par-4 10th to move back to one-over for the round. However, two bogies among his final eight holes left him where he made his turn, three-over.
Junior Jack Walsh is tied for 33rd after a five-over, 76, followed by WCU's seasonal scoring leader, sophomore J.T. Poston, in a tie for 37th at 77 - his worst round of the season by one stroke after shooting 76 in the first round of the Saint Mary's Invitational. Poston, who entered the tournament ranked 62nd in the nation according to GolfStat rankings - the only ranked Division I player in the field - did rally in the second round, following up his then highest score with his career-low round of 66. Poston countered four bogies and two double bogies with two birdies and 10 pars in his up-and-down round.
Rounding out WCU's team finishers is senior Steven Smith, in at seven-over, 78, in a tie for 50th.
WCU has four players competing unattached as individuals with junior Greg Bunner and sophomore Matthew Turner holding the highest standing after 18 holes. Both Bunner and Turner shot six-over, 77, on Saturday and are amidst a tie with 11 other golfers for 37th place. Redshirt sophomore Collin Witiak shot 78 and is tied for 50th with senior Trey White in a tie for 65th after firing 80 in the first round.
A complete tournament recap will be posted online at CatamountSports.com following the completion of Sunday's final round. Fans can follow the final 18 holes live through GolfStatResults.com.