VIDEO: Randy Wylie Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Less than a week after their resounding victory in the Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate in Sevierville, Tenn. that also saw sophomore Jake Headrick (Maryville, Tenn.) earn his first collegiate win, the Carson-Newman men's golf team journeys to Muscle Shoals, Ala. for the Division II Regional Preview at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at the Shoals Fighting Joe Course.
"We have a pretty experienced group," said coach Randy Wylie. "They know every week is a big week. We're playing a great field. One of our goals is to make the [NCAA] Regionals and we still have some work to do. We're looking forward to the competition coming up down in North Alabama."
The Eagles will be attempting to capture back-to-back tournaments for the first time since the 2011-2012 season, when they won the Will Wilson Tanglewood Intercollegiate and the Rollins College Invitational on consecutive weekends.
C-N was led by Headrick in Sevierville, who shot the lowest 54 hole score by a Carson-Newman player since Andrew Hall carded a 202 at the North Georgia Fall Invitational in October of 2015. Headrick clinched the win with a final round 66 that's tied for the school's best 18 hole score this year and is also even for the South Atlantic Conference's third-best round this season. He capped the event by sinking a 60 foot put to clinch the triumph. The Maryville native has crafted a stroke average of 72.9, the SAC's ninth-best and has four of C-N's top nine scores.
The best stroke average on coach Wylie's roster belongs to Tom Forster (Oundle, England), who's put together a mark of 72.48, which ranks seventh in the SAC. He concluded the Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate in second, just two strokes behind Headrick and the best finish of his career, as well as the second time he's risen into the top 10. The freshman also matched Headrick's score of a 66 with one of his own that he collected in the second round. He also owns a team-high six scores under par.
Dalton Reese (Warrenton, Ga) has been in red numbers five times in the current campaign, including twice last week. This marked the second time this season he's posted multiple negative rounds in a tournament, as he earlier did it in the St. Leo Invitational in September. While in Sevierville, he also nabbed his seventh career top-10 finish by tying for eighth and he will enter this week's competition with the SAC's 10th-best stroke average.
Another golfer who is starting to impress in just his first year at Mossy Creek is Brady Childers (Granite Falls, N.C.). His one-under 71 on Monday was a new career best and it came on a day in which his team's mark -14 set a new low score in conference play during the 2016-17 schedule. His stroke average now sits at 77.83.
The Eagles' lineup will also include Will Hurt (Powell, Tenn.), who tied for 32nd last week playing as an individual. The highest he's placed this year was 20th at the Walters State Fall Classic in October.
This will be yet another event in which Coach Wylie and his charges will have to battle a field of talented teams. Five ranked programs will be on the course for this tournament out of a total of 17, including the host school, No. 6 North Alabama. The Eagles, who did receive votes in the last Golf Coaches Association of America NCAA poll, are set to take on No. 12 Missouri St. Louis, No. 13 Lee, No. 21 Columbus State and No. 23 Limestone.
After each day of play in Muscle Shoals, you can visit cneagles.com for a recap and results.