FLORENCE, Ala. – No. 22 Carson-Newman went eight-over with a 298 on day one of the South/Southeast Regional Monday at The Shoals in Florence, Ala.
The Eagles sit in a tie for 10th place with No. 23 Coker, No. 20 Limestone and No. 17 Young Harris. The Eagles outpaced No. 8 Lee and No. 6 Lander on the day, leading the Flames by a stroke and the Bearcats by two.
The highly-talented field for the tournament features 19 schools listed in the top 30 of the GolfStat rankings and the top eight teams in the country. No. 2 Lynn leads the field by two strokes. The Knights went four-under (284) and lead C-N by 14 strokes and second place West Florida by two.
Tom Forster led Carson-Newman individually with an even-par 72. The SAC's Freshman of the Year struggled out of the gates with four bogeys on the front nine. However, the Oundle, England-native recovered nicely on the back nine with back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14. He closed the round with a birdie on the par-three, 200-yard 18th hole. He is tied for 17th after day one and is six back of West Florida's Chandler Blanchet for the tourney's top score.
"We played alight as a team," head men's golf coach Randy Wylie said. "Tom had a nice comeback on the final nine. While we played alright, we need a super round tomorrow to get in contention to qualify for nationals. Our young men are tough and I know they can do it."
At a minimum, the top three teams and the top two student-athletes not with a team from each regional (regardless of region) will advance to the finals May 22-26, at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Florida. The remaining eight team berths will be allocated based on the regions represented in the prior year's medal-match portion of the championships, with the maximum number of teams from a given region capped at seven. The finals will be hosted by the Sunshine State Conference and Central Florida Sports Commission.
Last year, five schools from the South/Southeast made medal match play. The region has sent five to the NCAA Championship Tournament each of the last two years.
The top five slots on the leaderboard are occupied by Lynn (-4), West Florida (+1), Newberry (+2) and Barry (+4).
Dalton Reese and Jake Headrick also factored into the Eagles' score for the day. Reese went two-over (74) to sit in a tie for 38th place. Reese played fairly consistent golf on the day, closing the round with eight straight holes at par or better.
Headrick meanwhile finished at three-over (75). He bogeyed the par-four sixth, the par-five 12th and the par-three 13th. Headrick is tied for 48th.
Anthony Marcinelli started in the top 10 on the leaderboard with birdies on the second and third holes, but the sophomore from Knoxville, Tenn.-faltered coming in to close at five-over (77). Marcinelli doubled the 14th and 18th holes and sits in a tie for 66th.
Brady Childers was C-N's non scoring player on the day. He finished at 10-over (82). Childers had a topsy-turvy round for the Eagles. He had the second most birdies among C-N's players with three, second only to Forster's four. However, the Granite Falls, N.C.-native also triple-bogeyed the par-five 17th and turned in double bogeys on holes two, four and 18.
Carson-Newman will tee off at 12:50 PM from hole 10. Childers will go off first for C-N. Forster is the final player scheduled to go off. His team time is set for 1:30.
T10 Carson-Newman 298 298
T17 Tom Forster (1) 72 72
T38 Dalton Reese (2) 74 74
T48 Jake Headrick (4) 75 75
T66 Anthony Marcinelli (3) 77 77
T102 Brady Childers (5) 82 82