2010 Team Champion Auburn Leads Schenkel Invitational Field After Day One
STATESBORO, Ga. - Defending its 2010 team title, ninth-ranked Auburn picked up where it left off a year ago, carding a 9-under 279 to lead the 32nd Annual Schenkel Invitational after day one. The three-day tournament is being played at the par-72, 6,962-yard Forest Heights Country Club where the Tigers lead a field of 15 at the prestigious event.
Four of Auburn's players completed the first round in red numbers to help the Tigers hold a three-stroke advantage over No. 5 Florida. The Gators, paced by the tournament's individual leader Bank Vongvanij, recorded a 6-under 282. Third place belongs to No. 12 LSU with a 1-under 287. No. 19 Virginia and 38th-ranked Tennessee round out the top-five teams, posting rounds of 288 (E) and 289 (+1), respectively.
Vongvanij birdied four of his last five holes to sign for a 6-under 66. Auburn's Blayne Barber nearly mirrored Vongvanij's back nine, dropping four birdies after making par on the 10th and 11th hole. Barber concluded his round at 4-under 68 for second place overall. Six players shot 3-under to tie for third going into Saturday's second round. The course played to a stroke average of 74.51.
The Eagles posted a 9-over 297 for 10th place, six strokes back of North Florida and No. 27 Notre Dame, who finished in a sixth-place tie. Sophomore Florian Sander (Bregenz, Austria) led Georgia Southern after shooting even-par to sit in a tie for 15th place. Sander fired two birdies on the back nine to make the turn at 1-under. A birdie on the fifth hole par-4 kept Sander's card at 1-under until a tricky par-5 on the seventh hole to even his round. The rest of the Eagle team would battle the back nine before using the front nine to shave strokes off their rounds.
"We had three solid scores by Florian [Sander], Matt [Deal] and Thomas [Sharkey]," said Georgia Southern Head Coach Larry Mays. "In a field like this you have to have four solid scores to compete. Tomorrow we need to get four good scores in to make a move up the leaderboard."
Thomas Sharkey (Helensburgh, Scotland) began his round at 1-over, but would birdie the next hole to stay even-par. Sharkey dispersed two other birdies in the round to stay out of trouble. A birdie on the 18th and fourth hole brought the sophomore back to 1-over. He parred the last five holes to finish at 73 (+1) for a 25th-place tie. Matt Deal (Statesboro, Ga.) finished one stroke back from Sharkey in a tie for 35th place. Deal carded birdies on the seventh and 18th par-5 to sign for a 2-over 74.
Jake Ware (Statesboro, Ga.) and Logan Blondell (Lakeland, Fla.) both posted 78s and finished tied for 67th place. Competing as an individual, Hayden Anderson (Knoxville, Tenn.) recorded a pair of birdies to end the first round at 1-over 73 to tie for 25th place.
Drew Guffey (Bartow, Fla.) and Lewis Gruber (Tallahasse, Fla.) also competed as individuals in this year's Schenkel. Guffey, following Deal's approach on the 18th and seventh hole, shot 1-under on both holes to finish the day at 1-over 73, and to tie two other Eagles for 25th place. Gruber, teeing off on hole 10, started off slow, but found his form after the turn and fired four birdies on the front nine to come into the clubhouse at 5-over 77 (63rd place).
Georgia Southern will be paired with Minnesota and Vanderbilt for the second round. Jake Ware will tee off first for the Eagles on the 10th hole beginning at 9:45 a.m. with members of the Georgia Southern Golf team teeing off in nine-minute increments.
The 32nd Schenkel Invitational 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 Friday, 18 March 2011 19:07