EATONTON, GA – With junior John VanDerLaan and sophomore Christian Anderson both in the individual top-20, and a 4-stroke jump by sophomore Michael VanDerLaan in the second round, the 3rd-ranked Florida Southern men's golf team finished the first day of the Bobcat Invitational in a 3-way tie for fifth out of 17 schools.
In Monday's first round, the Moccasins had a team score of 303 on the par-70 course at Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee. At the time, it put them in 10th place, but after a second-round 295, the Moccasins moved ahead of three teams and caught two others. Their total score of 598 (+38) had them 18 shots behind first-place and 2nd-ranked Lynn, which had rounds of 291 and 289 for a 580 (+20). Top-ranked West Florida was second with a 586 (+26) and the next seven teams were clustered within nine shots of each other, starting with third-place and 6th-ranked North Alabama at 592 (+32).
Turning in Florida Southern's best score in each round was John VanDerLaan, who had a 73 in the first round and a 72 in the second, giving him a five-over par 145 for the day. That put him alone in seventh place, trailing individual leader Manuel Torres of Lynn by five strokes.
Torres was one of only two golfers in either round to break par on Monday, shooting a 69 in the opener and a 71 later in the day, which put him at even-par 140. Harry Lambert of host Georgia College was the other, also shooting a 69 in the first round before slipping to a 74 in the second. That still put Lambert fourth overall behind Torres (140), West Florida's Chandler Blanchet (141) and Lynn's Tomas Gana (142). Niclas Weiland of Barry and Ryan Gendron of Saint Leo were tied for fifth with scores of 144, putting them one stroke ahead of VanDerLaan.
Anderson was tied for 17th after shooting a 75 and 73 for a total score of eight-over par 148. Michael VanDerLaan was tied for 34th with his score of 152, which included a 74 in round two. Though all five of the Moccasins' shot better in the afternoon, his four-stroke improvement was the team's best. As the Mocs' third counter in round two, Anderson equaled or bettered the number two counter for four of the five teams Florida Southern passed or caught at the end of the day.
The final round of the Bobcat Invitational is Tuesday at Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee.