COLUMBUS, GA – Even with rain hampering play earlier in the day, two Florida Southern golfers shot under par in the first round to give the Moccasins a 3-stroke lead over Delta State at the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational on Monday. The second round got underway around 5:30 before darkness halted play and left Florida Southern still holding a 3-stroke lead at the end of the day.
Leading the Moccasins in the early going were juniors Tim Crouch (Mt. Vernon, Ohio) and Shane Convery (Ponte Vedra, Fla.), who had first-round scores of 67 (-4) and 70 (-1) to help Florida Southern to a team score of two-over par 286. Crouch was the first-round leader after finishing with three birdies and one eagle on his final eight holes. The eagle came on the par-five, 548-yard #1 hole. Crouch also picked up two of his three birdies on the other two par-fives at the Country Club of Columbus.
Convery matched Crouch with three first-round birdies as well, putting himself in a tie for fourth place. His one-under par 70 came on the same course where he shot a career-best 68 last year.
Florida Southern was the only team to have two golfers break par in the first round, though Delta State was able to stay close with a 69 from Reed Lindsey and a 72 from Luke Brown. Lindsey’s score put him in a tie for second, trailing Crouch by two strokes. The Statesmen also counted scores of 73 and 75 for a team total of 289. Host Columbus State and Georgia College were the only other teams within 10 strokes of Florida Southern, as the Cougars checked in with a 294, and the Bobcats followed with a 296.
After Crouch and Convery, the Moccasins counted scores of 73 and 76 from seniors Case Gard (Lakeland, Fla.) and Peter Creighton (Kenmore, N.Y.), allowing them to open up a little more room over most of the other teams. Gard got off to a bit of a slow start with four bogeys on his first seven holes, but he rebounded to play the final 11 holes at even par with only one bogey.
Freshman Joseph Leavitt (Atkinson, N.H.), who was the Mocs’ top golfer in the season-opening tournament at Bethpage two weeks ago, shot a 77 in the first round.
Darkness brought the second round to an early finish, with the teams scheduled to pick up where they left off Tuesday morning at 9:00. The final round will follow immediately thereafter. Through the early stages of round two, Florida Southern was able to maintain its 3-stroke advantage, but it was no longer just Delta State sitting in second place. With its four counters playing the first nine holes at -1, Columbus State was able to catch Delta State, which was +4 with the same partial scores.
Florida Southern got at least nine holes from all of its golfers too, with Convery leading the way at -1. Gard was at even par through 10 holes in round two, while Crouch was at +2, and Creighton at +3. Those scores left Convery and Crouch tied for the individual lead with Jesse Gibson of Clumbus State. All three golfers were at -2 for the tournament, though Gibson had played one less hole. They held a 2-stroke lead over a trio of other golfers from different schools.
Gard trailed the co-leaders by only four strokes and was tied for 12th. Creighton was tied for 46th, and Leavitt was tied for 77th.