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WCU's J.T. Poston Carries Four-Stroke Lead into Hummingbird's Final Round

WCU senior Jack Walsh (pictured) and sophomore Tyler Lail are tied for 20th entering Tuesday's final round. (Photo by Mark Haskett)

Nov. 4, 2013

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Sapphire, N.C. - Appalachian State shot one-under par, 283, as a team on Monday to move into first place after 36 of the scheduled 54 holes at the 2013 Hummingbird Intercollegiate, hosted by Western Carolina at The Country Club of Sapphire Valley. Catamount junior J.T. Poston paces the 56-golfer field through two rounds, following up his opening round two-under par, 69, with a three-under par, 68, on Monday for a four-stroke advantage.

WCU shot 289 collectively as a team on Monday, slipping into a tie for sixth-place with Gardner-Webb entering Tuesday's final round. The host Catamounts are just six strokes outside of the Top Five and 13 off the pace.

Tuesday's final round is scheduled for a 9:30 am start, but is subject to an additional frost delay. Monday's second round was delayed an hour due to frost on the valley floor, that on the heels of Sunday's opening round pushed back by 45 minutes.

Appalachian State leads first-round leader, Belmont, by three strokes as the Bruins shot 290 on Monday and trail the Mountaineers by three strokes, 573-to-570. The Mountaineers have three individuals among the top 15 after two rounds. Wofford tied the ninth-best team round in tournament history with a four-under par, 280, to move into a two-way tie with Tennessee Tech for third at 574 with Samford rounding out the Top Five at 577.

WCU and Gardner-Webb are tied for sixth place with two-round scores of 583 with Evansville (598), Colgate (606) and Cardinal Stritch (617) rounding out the field.

After opening with two bogies sandwiched around a birdie through his first three holes on Monday, Poston finished his second round with four more birdies and 11 pars. In front of a gathered gallery on the par-4 18th, Poston closed his second round with flair, sinking a 25-foot birdie putt to put the finishing touches on his three-under par round of 68.

All told, Poston has nine birdies through the first two days and ranks second in par-5 scoring (-4, 4.33).

Gardner-Webb's Clement Kurniawan matched the fourth-best, single-round in tournament history with his five-under par, 66, to move 27 places on the day into a tie for the runner-up spot with first-round, co-leader, Ashton Van Horne of Belmont at 141. The two trail Poston (137) by four strokes and are one-stroke ahead of a five-way tie for fourth at even-par, 142. Kurniawan had 11 pars, six birdies and a lone bogey his first hole of the day - the par-4 10th - in charging towards the top of the leader board.

For Western Carolina behind Poston, senior Jack Walsh and sophomore Tyler Lail sit amidst a seven-way tie for 20th place in the individual standings, both with 146. Walsh shot three-over, 74, on Monday while Lail again carded a round of two-over par, 73. Walsh opened at two-under par before bogies on five of his next six holes left him at three-over through eight. The Lawrenceville, Ga., product birdied the par-4 ninth at the turn before playing even-par golf until a bogey on the 18th. Lail matched two bogies with two birdies and was poised for an even round until a double-bogey on 18 relegated him to two-over, 73.

Both redshirt junior Collin Witiak and senior Greg Bunner trimmed six strokes off their opening rounds, shooting three-over par, 74, in the second round to sit tied for 44th overall to round out WCU's scoring five. Witiak countered three bogies and one double-bogey with two birdies on the day while Bunner carded 15 pars with three bogies in his second round.

Playing unattached as an individual, redshirt sophomore Alex Simmons carded his best round since joining the WCU roster with a one-under par, 71, to move into a four-way tie for 12th at 144. Starting on the back nine, the Lenoir, N.C., native made the turn at two-over par with three bogies against one birdie. But on the front, Simmons quickly moved back to even with birdies on the par-5 second and par-3 third. Consecutive bogies on the fourth and fifth holes moved him back to two-over before Simmons closed his round with birdies on three of his final four holes, shooting three-under par on the back for the 70.

Simmons is tied for the tournament lead through 36 holes with 10 birdies, and stands along in par-5 scoring (-5, 4.17).

Also playing as an individual, freshman Evan Smith overcame three bogies and one double-bogey with two birdies, shooting three-over par, 74, to sit tied for 20th after 36 holes, while Matthew Turner was a stroke better on Monday, shooting two-over par, 73. Turner had a birdie on the par-3 third and scored eagle on his final hole of the day, chipping in for two-under on the par-4 ninth.

Rounding out WCU's roster was freshman Nont Panayanggool, making his first tournament appearance at The Country Club of Sapphire Valley. Panayanggool charted birdies on four of his first seven holes to sit at three-under par before a bogey and double-bogey left him even at the turn. On the front nine, the Thailand native had six pars with three bogies to shoot three-over, 74.

Paired with golfers from Tennessee Tech and Samford, WCU's scoring five is scheduled to tee off on the front nine beginning at 9:30 am with tournament leader, Poston, slated for the 10:10 pairing. WCU's four individuals hit the course on the back nine beginning at 10:35 am.

Live scoring for the final round of the 2013 Hummingbird Intercollegiate is available online through with a complete recap available online at the conclusion of the tournament on