Eagles in Second Heading into Final Round of SoCon Championship
FLORENCE, S.C - On the toughest day of the tournament so far, Georgia Southern's Lewis Gruber and Logan Blondell carded a 72 (E) and 70 (-2), respectively, to help themselves and Georgia Southern keep pace at the top of the leaderboard at the 75th Southern Conference Golf Championship. The Eagles finished the second round with a 4-over 292 to head into the final round in second place. Gruber is currently in a three-way tie for first in the individual standings, while Blondell follows in a fourth-place tie.
"We are still in good position and did not shoot ourselves out of it," said Head Coach Larry Mays. "We have to stay away from big numbers and play smart to have a chance in the final round. Chattanooga is a good team, we are going to have to stay away from mistakes on the course if we want to have any chance of winning."
Chattanooga, who leads the 11-team field with a 575 (-1) two-day total, leads Georgia Southern by four strokes. The Eagles (+3) are one stroke ahead of third-place Samford (+4). UNC Greensboro is fourth at 5-over and Charleston rounds out the top five at 7-over. This is the second time in three years that GSU heads into the final round in second place. The last time was in 2009, when the Eagles played consistently in the final round to finish two-strokes behind Chattanooga in second place. Monday's round at the Country Club of South Carolina played to a stroke average of 74.22.
With the back nine featuring the five toughest holes on day two, Georgia Southern relied on senior leadership from Blondell to maintain its position. The Lakeland, Fla., native not only came into the clubhouse with a clean back-nine scorecard, but shot 3-under on the final nine holes. Blondell's four birdies around the course helped him move eight spots up to a fourth-place tie at 2-under.
"He carded a 33 on the back-nine which was big, obviously we needed it," said Mays. "Logan took it deep today for us. He finished strong and that is what we needed out of our leader."
Gruber also had four birdies to help wash away bogeys down the stretch. The Tallahassee, Fla., native birdied the third hole and shot 2-under on the final two holes before making the turn. The junior also birdied the par-3 12th. Gruber tees off the final round in a tie for the lead at 4-under with Davidson's Richard Fountain and Samford's Casey O'Toole.
Senior Matt Deal (Statesboro, Ga.) and Freshman Hayden Anderson (Knoxville, Tenn.) both shot a 3-over 75 in the second round. Deal goes into the final round in a tie for 27th-place (+4), while Anderson maintains his 41st-place tie (+7) position. Florian Sander (Bregenz, Austria) is one stroke ahead of Anderson at 6-over. Sander is in a tie for 38th place after posting a 4-over 76.
Georgia Southern is paired with Chattanooga and Samford for the second-straight day in Tuesday's final round. Hayden Anderson tees off first for the Eagles at 8:50 a.m. Each player will follow in 10-minute increments.
Fans can follow hole-by-hole live scoring of the 75th SoCon Golf Championship at http://golfstatresults.com/public/index.cfm?tournament_id=2204.
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- Category: Golf
- Published on Monday, 18 April 2011 18:49