TAZEWELL, Tenn – On the first day at the State Farm Intercollegiate, a tournament they entered as the defending champions, the Carson-Newman men's golf team posted the day's third best score, finishing at three-over par through 36 holes.
"I was very pleased with our first round," Golf Coach Randy Wylie said. "We had really good rounds from Alex Hutson (Newport, Tenn.) and Dalton Reese (Warrenton, Ga.), as well as from Jake Headrick (Maryville, Tenn.). In the second round, we had too many penalty shots and too many doubles and triples. We need to bounce back tomorrow."
The Eagles got a great day from Headrick, who shot a four-under 140 that included a first round 68, which matches the lowest round in his C-N career. The sophomore was the only player in the tournament to break 70 in round one and followed that with an even par 72 in round two. Headrick is tied with Lincoln Memorial's Brandon Gibson for second place, one stroke behind Mars Hill's Adam Lumley.
Reese finished with the second best score for C-N, as he sits at par. The senior was tied for second place through 18 holes after carding a 70, his best score of the season. A 74 in round two placed him in a tie for 15th at days end.
Hutson was on the course for Carson-Newman for the first time this fall and he started fast, matching Reese's first round by putting up a 70 of his own. He slipped a little in the afternoon to a 77, but entered the clubhouse at plus-three, in 22nd place.
Fintan McKenna (Westhill, UK) had his best day as a C-N golfer, as his one-over, 73 in the morning was his best round so far for the Eagles. His 77 in the second round puts his score at plus-six, good enough to tie him for 29th place. Tom Forster (Oundle, England) is one stroke behind McKenna and tied for 32nd.
Also competing in the intercollegiate are sophomores Grant Bodie (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Will Hurt (Powell, Tenn.) and senior Justin Vittitoe (Dandridge, Tenn.), who are playing as individuals, which means their scores cannot be counted towards the team's overall mark. Bodie is tied for 55th after shooting a pair of 77s. Vittitoe's score of 164 has him tied for 73rd in what is his first collegiate action of the fall, and Hurt's 170 places him 77th.
Lincoln Memorial, the host of the event is in the lead going into the final day and they have a sizable edge over the squad in second place, Lenoir-Rhyne, who is eight shots back. The Eagles are ten strokes behind LMU, with Brevard and then Southern Wesleyan rounding out the top five.
One more round of 18 remains for each student-athlete tomorrow as C-N seeks to defend the crown they won last season. A complete write-up of round three will be published to cneagles.com once the action concludes.