HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS - Florida Southern rebounded after shooting a 5-over 293 in Monday's opening round by firing a 4-under 284 here in Tuesday's second round of the NCAA Division II South/Southeast Super Regional at Mission Inn Resort's El Campeon Course to pull within three shots of second round leader Lynn and climb four spots up the leaderboard into third place heading into Wednesday's final round.
With its second round performance, which was the second best of the day behind second-ranked Saint Leo's 8-under 280, the third-ranked Moccasins are poised to earn one of five spots from the South/Southeast Super Regional into this year's NCAA Division II National Championships on May 17-21 at Green Valley Golf Club in Denver, Colo., which is part of the Division II Spring Championships Festival.
Through 36 holes of action, the Mocs have shot a one-over 577 to sit two shots behind fifth-ranked West Florida, who has shot a 1-under 575 and is three shots behind two-time reigning Sunshine State Conference Champion and No. 2 ranked Lynn, who has carded a 2-under 574.
In Tuesday's round, three of the Mocs four counters shot under par, while the other counter fired a three-over 75 to push themselves into contention, not only for a regional title, but also a repeat trip to the NCAA National Championships. As a team, the Mocs, who started on the back nine of the 6,928-yard El Campeon course Tuesday, had its four counters shoot a 1-under 143 on the back nine and then shoot a 3-under 141 on the front nine.
On a day when conditions were favorable for scoring as the wind wasn't as strong as it was in Monday's opening, the Mocs were one of nine teams to shoot under 300 in the second round.
Lynn, who shot a 6-under 282 in the first round, carded a 4-over 292 in the second round to take over first place on the leaderboard, while first round leader West Florida followed up its 8-under 280 in the first round with a 7-over 295 on Tuesday to fall into second place. With its 8-under 280 in the second round, Saint Leo made the biggest jump up the leaderboard as they are now fourth heading into the final round after shooting a 2-over 578 for 36 holes.
Columbus State shot a 9-over 297 in the second round to fall spots down the leaderboard as they have shot a 12-over 588 for 36 holes to sit in fifth place, while Barry and defending Division II National Champion Nova Southeastern have each shot 13-over 589's for 36 holes as Barry fired a 9-over 297 in Tuesday's second round and the Sharks fired an 8-over 296 on Tuesday.
Leading the Moccasin charge on Tuesday was sophomore John Coultas (Valrico, Fla.) as the SSC Golfer of the Year shot a 4-under 68 in the second round to push his 36 hole total to a 6-under 138 to sit in third place overall and is two shots off the overall lead. Coultas, who shot a 2-under 70 in Monday's first round, opened his second round by shooting a 1-under 36 on the back nine, before firing a 3-under 32 on the front nine. In fact, Coultas' 68 was the second lowest second round score among the tournament's 108 participants.
On Tuesday, Coultas opened his round by scoring birdies on three of his first five holes and closed the back nine by recording bogeys on two of the final round holes of the back nine. Moving to the front nine, Coultas would record birdies on four of the first six holes on the front nine (Holes 1-9) and after bogeying the par-4 No. 7 hole, Coultas would par the final two holes. On the day, he finished with seven birdies, three bogeys and eight pars.
For the second straight round, West Florida's Chandler Blanchet and Lynn's Manuel Torres sit atop the leaderboard as they followed up their opening round 65's by firing 1-under 71's in Tuesday's second round to push their 36 hole total to 136 (-8). In fact, nine players enter Wednesday's final round having shot under par for 36 holes.
In addition to Blanchet, Torres and Coultas, Nova Southeastern's Richard Mansell and Limestone's Griffin Brown are tie for fourth after shooting 5-under 139's for 36 holes to sit in a tie for fourth place. Mansell shot an even-par 72 in the second round, while Brown fired a 5-under 67 on Tuesday. The 67 was the lowest round of the day for any of the 120 golfers competing in the tournament.
The Mocs second counter on Tuesday was sophomore Jimmy Jones (Tampa, Fla.), who shot a 2-under 70 in the second round to push his 36 hole total to an even-par 144 to sit in a tie for 10th place. Jones opened Tuesday's second round by recording all pars on the back nine, before shooting a 2-under 33 on the front nine, including recording birdies over two of his final four holes. Jones recorded three birdies, a bogey and 14 pars on his second round scorecard.
FSC's third counter on Tuesday was sophomore John VanDerLaan (Southbury, Conn.) as he carded a 1-under 71 to push his 36 hole total to a 2-over 146 to sit in a tie for 16th place. VanDerLaan opened his second round by shooting a 1-under 36 on the back nine and then carded an even-par 35 on the front nine. For the round, VanDerLaan recorded three birdies, two bogeys and 13 pars.
The Mocs fourth counter on Tuesday was junior Levin Hoffmann (Sarstedt, Germany) as he rebounded after shooting a 79 in Monday's first round with a 3-over 75 in the second round. Through 36 holes, Hoffmann has carded a 10-over 154 to sit in a tie for 61st place. In Tuesday's second round, Hoffmann recorded two birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey on a par-4 No. 7 hole. Hoffmann opened the second round by shooting a 1-over 38 on the back nine, before shooting a 2-over 37 on the front nine. Heading into the final four holes, Hoffmann was sitting at 1-under for the round, but closed the round shooting 4-over on the final four holes.
FSC's other competitor on Tuesday was freshman Christian Anderson (Ocala, Fla.) as he shot a 7-over 79 on Tuesday and has now shot 9-over 153 for 54 holes to sit in a tie for 55th place. In Monday's first round, Anderson carded a 2-over 74. In Tuesday's second round, Anderson shot a 4-over 41 on the back nine and then fired a 3-over 38 on the front nine, but closed the round with four straight pars. Anderson recorded one birdie, six bogeys, a double bogey and 10 pars on his second round scorecard.
Due to a forecast that calls for inclement weather most of the day on Wednesday, tournament officials decided to pair the teams into foursomes and have a shotgun start from holes 1-4 beginning at 7:30 a.m. The Mocs will play the final round with Lynn, West Florida and Saint Leo.
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Click here for the pairings for Wednesday's final round of the South/Southeast Super Regional
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