Third-Place Moccasins Just Two Strokes Back at Southeastern Collegiate; Crouch Trails by One
VALDOSTA – An opening round of 285 put Florida Southern in first place at the Southeastern Collegiate on Monday, but later in round two, Barry and Georgia College both slipped ahead of the Mocs to drop them into third place at the end of the day. The Mocs trailed the front-running Buccaneers by just two strokes, with the Bobcats only one stroke out of first.
Florida Southern, ranked #17 in the country, got a 69 from Jude Eustaquio in the morning, a 70 from Tim Crouch, and a 72 from Lee White, with all three golfers among the top ten players in the field. Their fourth counter, Shane Convery, shot a 74, helping the Mocs take a 4-stroke lead over Barry at that point. Eustaquio’s score included five birdies on his first 12 holes, giving him a share of the individual lead with West Florida’s Carlos Rodriguez.
Eustaquio and the Mocs got off to a good start in round two as well, with the Mocs’ top golfer playing his first six holes at two-under, Convery also sitting at two-under, and Crouch even. However, the second half of the afternoon round wasn’t as kind. While Convery and Crouch each shot a 73, Eustaquio slipped to a 76, and the Mocs also counted a 78 from White, giving them a 300 team score. Shelton Smith, who was coming off a 69 in the final round of the USF tournament, had scores of 75 and 80 on Monday.
Among the first teams to finish, Florida Southern was fifth when it walked off the course, but moved up two spots after a late collapse by North Alabama and Valdosta State. Both of those teams outshot Florida Southern in round two, but couldn’t overcome the Mocs’ 285 in the first round that was the best score for any team on day one, and the only one that broke par.
That also allowed them to hold third place by two shots over five other teams that were all tied for fourth place at 587. Among them were host Valdosta State, and North Alabama. Lynn, which was the highest ranked team in the field at #3, and Rollins were tied for ninth place with scores of 599.
Tenth-ranked Barry had a 289 and 294, while #9 Georgia College had a 295 and 289. The Bucs’ counted scores of 74 or better in both rounds, and held the lead despite having only one player in the top 15. That was 10th-place Marcus Segerstrom with a 145 (73-72). The Bobcats had to count a 77 in round one, a score that came back to hurt them later in the day.
Georgia College did have one of the individual co-leaders in Patrick Garrett, who finished the day two-under par 142 (70-72). That tied him with Columbus State’s Rourke Van der Spuy (73-69), who bogeyed only three holes in the first two rounds.
Florida Southern was led by Crouch, who was one of three golfers tied for third at one-under par 143. Eustaquio was tied for 10th at the end of the day with his 145, just three strokes behind the co-leaders.
Convery, who is playing in only his second tournament of the season, and first as a member of the regular lineup, is tied for 20th with a 147, White is tied for 37th with a 150, and Smith is tied for 60th with a 155.
The tournament concludes at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club on Tuesday.