Auburn Extends Lead Over Florida at Schenkel Invitational
STATESBORO, Ga. - The Georgia Southern Golf team trimmed 12 strokes off its first-round total to close the second round of the 32nd Schenkel Invitational in 10th place. Thomas Sharkey (Helensburgh, Scotland) led the Eagles on the second day, carding a 3-under 69 to move up 10 spots to a 15th-place tie. Ninth-ranked Auburn, recording a 13-under 275 at the par-72, 6,962-yard Forest Heights Country Club, finished the day with the tournament's lowest round and extended its lead over No. 5 Florida.
The Tigers, leading the 15-team field at 22-under par (554), increased its first-place lead over the Gators from three strokes to six. Florida stands in second place at 16-under par (560), while No. 12 LSU and No. 19 Virginia both shot team rounds of 277 on day two to remain in third (-12) and fourth place (-11), respectively. The 20th-ranked N.C. State team moved up to fifth place with its second-round 10-under 278 to move up to fifth position (-6).
Both Auburn and Florida are represented on the individual leaderboard with two players each in the top six. The Gators' Bank Vongvanij shot a 4-under 68 to stay in first place with a 10-under 134 two-day total (66-68=134). Vongvanij birdied his first hole of the day, followed by an eagle on the par-5 seventh hole. The senior then followed his front-nine performance with birdies on every other hole from the 12th to the 16th.
Auburn's Niclas Carlsson played out of the congested third-place group from day one by shooting a 5-under 67. The Tiger birdied the fourth hole and stayed in red numbers from then on, making two more birdies on the front- and back-nine to finish with a 8-under 136 for a 36-hole total (69-67=136). Tiger teammate Blayne Barber trails Carlsson by two strokes in third place at 6-under 138 (68-70=138) after signing for a 2-under 70. Three players are in a third-place tie at 5-under on the tournament.
Nearly every Georgia Southern player, including individuals, mirrored or reduced their first-round score to help the Eagles close the gap on the team leaderboard. Georgia Southern trails No. 27 Notre Dame and No. 38 Tennessee by only four strokes. The Irish and Volunteers finished in a seventh-place tie.
"It was nice to get some under-par rounds as it was our first individual and team under-par round this spring," said Head Coach Larry Mays. "We recorded three good scores and one solid score, highlighted by a 67 by freshman Drew Guffey playing as an individual and a 69 by Thomas Sharkey playing in the lineup. Hopefully this is a good springboard for us to continue to get better the rest of this tournament and the season."
Sharkey exploded on the back nine, making birdie on the 11th hole and then displaying the same performance on three of the final four holes to go 4-under at the turn. The redshirt-freshman birdied the third hole to go five under before concluding the second round with a 69 for a 36-hole total of 2-under 142. Florian Sander (Bregenz, Austria) battled all day to record a 1-under 71. The sophomore made three birdies before the turn to erase three bogeys. Sander scattered three birdies on the front nine to finish one stroke better than his first-round score to stand tied at 22nd place.
Senior Matt Deal (Statesboro, Ga.) helped himself with a near-clean scorecard for a 1-under 71. A pair of two birdies advanced Deal three spots to a tie for 32nd place (74-71=145). Logan Blondell (Lakeland, Fla.) bettered his previous score by four strokes, closing his second round with a 2-over 74 for 67th place. Classmate Jake Ware (Statesboro, Ga.) booked a 6-over 78 to finish the day.
The biggest improvement for Georgia Southern came in the individual play of Drew Guffey (Bartow, Fla.), propelling 18 spots up the leaderboard to a seventh-place tie. Without bogeys on the round, Guffey made the turn at 2-under with birdies on the 11th and 13th holes. The freshman would shoot in red numbers on both par-5s on the front-nine, recording a birdie on the first and ending his round with an eagle on the ninth hole. Guffey recorded his lowest collegiate round with a 5-under 67. Guffey goes into Sunday's final round at 4-under 140 (73-67=140).
Lewis Gruber (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Hayden Anderson (Knoxville, Tenn.) also competed as individuals. Gruber closed out his round with a 3-over 75 for a 152 two-day total. Anderson posted a 6-over 78 on the day to close out his 36-holes at 7-over 151.
Georgia Southern will be paired with North Carolina and Vanderbilt for the final round. Jake Ware will tee off first for the Eagles on the 10th hole beginning at 9:12 a.m. with members of the Georgia Southern Golf team teeing off in nine-minute increments.
The final round of the 32nd Schenkel Invitational begins with 8 a.m. tee times. The tournament is open to the public and admission is free.
Live scoring of the Schenkel Invitational is available at www.golfstat.com.Fans may also follow the Schenkel Invitational at twitter.com/SchenkelInvite. Follow the Eagle Golf team on GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/golf or get short updates on facebook.com/GSAthletics or twitter.com/GSAthletics.
- Category: Golf
- Published on Saturday, 19 March 2011 19:33