VIDEO: Randy Wylie Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – For a second-straight week, No. 19 Carson-Newman gears up for two days of competition, this time heading to the Southern Tide Classic at the Green Valley Country Club in Greenville, S.C. on Monday and Tuesday.
This is the first appearance the Eagles have ever made in the event co-hosted by No. 12/13 Limestone and fellow South Atlantic Conference member Coker, marking the second new event for the team this season, the first being the Shark Invitational back in October.
With the tournament this week and the St. Leo Invitational last week, this will conclude the team's only back-to-back event weeks that it will see this season.
"We've got some good players and some tough players and I expect them to appreciate, kind of, the back-to-back tournaments," Carson-Newman coach Randy Wylie said. "It's actually kind of nice you don't really have time to actually go home and re-prepare. You just say, 'This is what we've been doing. Let's just do that better,' and try to prepare as best we can with kind of the gameplan and mental mindset that we had going into last week as we go into next week."
Tom Forster (Northamptonshire, England) will lead the Orange and Blue at the No. 1 spot for a third-straight event and the fifth event this season. This comes after his fifth-place showing at St. Leo where he fired a three-round score of 212 at four-under.
This season, he has been the top Eagle on the leaderboard in four events this season with two top-five finishes, one of those being at St. Leo and the other coming at the Coker Fall Challenger where he was second.
Moving into the No. 2 spot this week is Jackson Tyler (Wilmington, N.C.). The sophomore was the only other Eagle at St. Leo aside from Forster to land under par through three rounds with a one-under showing that placed him in a tie for seventh, just three shots behind Forster.
This is the highest starting position for Tyler in his career.
"(Forster and Tyler) should be coming into this week with quite a bit of confidence, which is really nice," Wylie said. "Hopefully that will help the other guys get going to see some guys with a lot of confidence."
Sliding down to the third-seed is Jake Headrick (Maryville, Tenn.). This comes after the junior carded a five-over score of 221 to tie for 21st. His scoring average on the season sits at 74.1 through 14 rounds of play heading into the week.
Mynatt has started in every event this season, holding a 74.8 scoring average. He was nine-over in last week's tournament at St. Leo, tying for 34th.
As for Collins, this is his third starting lineup appearance this season and second in consecutive events. He tied for 41st last week, two shots behind Mynatt. In 11 rounds of play, his scoring averaging sits at 75.7.
The Southern Tide Classic takes the Eagles to another new course for them to experience in the Green Valley Country Club, which holds a 72 par.
"It's important that we have a really productive day on Sunday in our practice round," Wylie said. "We'll really pay attention to the course setup and strategy to the course that day."
The field for the tournament is compiled of 14 teams with five coming from the SAC – C-N, Lincoln Memorial, Coker, Queens and Anderson.
In terms of nationally ranked teams, there will be three including the Eagles. LMU sits at 16th in both polls from the Golf Coaches' of America Association and Golfstat. Limestone is No. 12 and 13 in the polls, respectively.
Last year, the final round of play for the event was rained out, leaving Limestone as the winning team after two rounds of action at four-under. The Saints have won the event the past two years. North Greenville took second and two-under with Lincoln Memorial coming in third at eight-over. On the player leaderboard was a four-way tie for the individual medalist. All three teams return to the field this year.
The Classic opens on Monday with two rounds of play. Live scoring will not be available for the event but results and a full recap will be found at cneagles.com at the end of both days.