VIDEO: Tom Forster Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Following a tie for sixth at the Coker Fall Challenge, the No. 16 Eagles now look ahead to a trip to Columbus, Ga. for Columbus State's Aflac/Cougar Invitational this Monday and Tuesday.
The Invitational was originally supposed to wrap up three-straight weeks of competition but last week's Kiawah Island Invitational was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence, giving the Eagles an added few days to prepare for the event.
This marks Carson-Newman's second consecutive showing in the event after landing in sixth to lift the lid on last season.
Tom Forster (Oundle, England) was second in the entire field at the Coker Fall Challenge at four-under through the two rounds of play. He notched his lowest 36-hole score with the Eagles at 136.
"I was striking the ball really well," the junior said. "I wasn't off line with any shots I hit. The first round, I probably should have shot three or four shots better than I actually did which was incredible considering I actually hit three-under, but I was just hitting hit it so good and just the putter wasn't working all that well but the ball striking helped me."
In last year's event, Forster was six-over through three rounds of play, landing him in a tie for 37th. His best round was a 72 in the first round, adding a shot to his score for each of the other two rounds.
Jake Headrick (Maryville, Tenn.) led the Eagles in last year's Invitational with a share of 11th, the first of his three top 20 finishes on the season. His 69 in the second round was his lowest score in the Invitational.
"I went down there and never saw the course and it's one of those courses that it's pretty tight and the greens are a little tricky," Headrick reflected. "Last year, I was hitting it really well, hitting the right spots on the greens and just made a couple of putts."
VIDEO: Jake Headrick Interview
This year, he heads into the event at the No. 2 spot for Carson-Newman. He opened his senior campaign with a +10 showing at the Coker Fall Challenge, positioning him in a tie for 45th.
"I went in, wanted to have a great year, start it off well and I wasn't patient at all," he admitted. "I was trying to create too much stuff, and I ended up getting behind early and tried to fight back and just ended up digging myself a hole, but it was a start that I can only go up really."
Jake Mynatt (Knoxville, Tenn.) stays at the third spot on the travel team for C-N after making his debut at the Coker Fall Challenge tying for 36th on the leaderboard.
Jackson Tyler (Wilmington, N.C.) makes his return to the travel team for his first event of the season as the No. 4 for the Eagles. He is coming off of a freshman campaign that saw him play in all 10 of Carson-Newman's events. With a stroke average of 74.7.
He tied with Headrick in last year's Cougar Invitational at +6 through the three rounds of play.
Will Collins (Knoxville, Tenn.) made his Orange and Blue debut as an individual in Camden where he tied for tenth place. This week, he moves up to the No. 5 slot for C-N after his +2 outing in his first event.
Serving as the individual for Carson-Newman this week will be Fintan McKenna (Aberdeen, Scotland). The Coker Fall Challenge was his first event with the travel team since the spring of 2017 where he tied for 59th at 14-over. His two-round score of 154 was the lowest 36-hole score of his career.
The event will once again take place at the Columbus Country Club which holds a par 71 course, spanning across 6,515 yards of lands. Joining Carson-Newman will be sixteen other teams. Of those groups, seven others were also ranked in the Golf Coaches Association of America's Preseason Poll including No. 2 Lynn, No. 4 Florida Southern and No. 5 Florida Tech.
The invitational opens on Monday morning with a shotgun start at 8:30 to kick off the first 36 holes of play before a round of 18 on Tuesday. Live scoring will be provided through every three holes by way of Birdie Fire. A full recap with results of each day can be found on cneagles.com.