Eagles One Stroke Out of First After Round One of SoCon Championships
The Eagles hold an eight-stroke lead over third place Western Carolina and Furman University, which each shot a 2-under 286 team opening round. UNC Greensboro and College of Charleston finished round one tied for fifth at 5-over 293.
Of 13 golfers to finish the day under-par, four were Eagles, as Lethem, Spencer Fulford, Joe Monte and Logan Blondell all fired off sub-par opening rounds for Georgia Southern.
“It was a good time to break out. Now we just have to go out there and do it for two more rounds. We know Chattanooga is not going to give it to us,” said head coach Larry Mays. “But the guys are all in good spirits and we’re ready to come out tomorrow and play.”
Georgia Southern struggled on the opening back nine before excelling on the front nine to finish 10-under for the day. Lethem paced the Eagles for the first 18. Opening on hole 10, the senior was even par through seven holes before closing out the back nine with consecutive birdies, leaving him 2-under heading into the front nine.
The Camdenton, Mo., native fired an eagle on hole two sandwiched between birdies on one and three. Lethem carded a 4-under on the front half after erasing a bogey on four with a birdie to follow. A 6-under 66 gives Lethem a one-stroke advantage individually over Derek Rende of Chattanooga. Lethem enters the Georgia Southern record book as having one of the lowest rounds played in program history.
“We’ve been joking with Drew all year that we were just waiting for him to have a round like this. It was special to watch him today.”
Junior Fulford (Rock Mount, N.C.) stands in a tie for eighth place with a 2-under 70. Fulford got off to a slow start with three bogeys and two birdies on the back nine. The Eagle turned his 1-over par into a 2-under for the day off his front nine 3-under par 33. Fulford carded four birdies with one bogey to shoot his opening round 70.
Sophomore classmates Monte and Blondell stand one stroke back of Fulford at 1-under 71, placing the Eagles in a four-way tie for 10th. Monte, a Chantilly, Virginia native, was even-par on the back half, but two birdies erased a bogey on the fourth hole for a 1-under front half. Blondell (Lakeland, Fla.) expunged a 2-over back nine with a 3-under front nine to go 1-under for the day. Blondell’s four birdies on the front half pushed him into 10th place.
All five Eagles stand within the Top 20 of the leaderboard after round one. Ryan LeFevre (Boca Raton, Fla.) rounds out the starting lineup for Georgia Southern in an 18th-place tie at 1-over 73. The senior tallied a front nine 1-under par after an opening back nine 2-over par.
Georgia Southern tees off on Monday for round two at 8:40 a.m. off hole No.1. Georgia Southern is paired with Chattanooga and Western Carolina.
TEAM (Round 1)
1. Chattanooga 277 (-11)
2. Georgia Southern 278 (-10)
T3. Western Carolina 286 (-2)
T3. Furman 286 (-2)
T5. UNC Greensboro 293 (+5)
T5. College of Charleston 293 (+5)
7. Elon 295 (+7)
8. Davidson 299 (+11)
9. Appalachian State 300 (+12)
10. Samford 302 (+14)
11. Wofford 306 (+18)
GEORGIA SOUTHERN INDIVIDUAL (Round 1)
1. Drew Lethem 66 (-6)
T8. Spencer Fulford 70 (-2)
T10. Joe Monte 71 (-1)
T10. Logan Blondell 71 (-1)
T18. Ryan LeFevre 73 (+3)
- Category: Golf
- Published on Sunday, 19 April 2009 16:18