by Tyler Peck, sports information graduate assistant
FLORENCE, S.C. - The No. 1 Georgia College & State University Bobcat golf squad finds itself in eighth place after the opening day's two rounds at the Springhill Suites Intercollegiate hosted by Francis Marion University. The team fired rounds of 292-282 (574) today (Sept. 14) and are two-under, 14 strokes behind leader USC Aiken, the only other Division II program in the DI-heavy tournament.
The only Bobcat in the top-10 is Niclas Johannson (Skanor, Sweden), who is in a three-way tie for ninth place with rounds of 71-68 for a total of five-under on the par-72, 7,062-yard Country Club of South Carolina Course.
Three Bobcats finished today within two strokes of each other. Junior Joe Young (Cochran, Ga.) was three-over after the first round but battled back and fired a three-under 69 to finish even at 24th (144) on the day. Junior Berkeley Lake native Billy Shida shot 72-73 (145) and is in a six-way tie for 33rd. Senior Francisco Bide (Buenos Aires, Argentina) shot a two-over 74 in the first round, but was able to yield an even par-72 in the second round to finish tied for 39th.
A pair of Bobcats were seeing action for the first time of their collegiate careers, as redshirt freshman Taylor Smith (Mansfield, Ga.) was dead even after 36 holes playing as an individual with back-to-back rounds of 72-72 (144). Also, freshman Bernardo Bide (Buenos Aires, Argentina) finished at 15-over firing 84-75 (159).
Peach Belt Conference (PBC) foe USC Aiken is 16-under with rounds of 282 and 278, four strokes up on Western Carolina University. Appalachian State University's Casey Johnson leads at eight-under with rounds of 69 and 67 (136), holding off Jason Judy of Elon University and Patrick Coleman of Presbyterian College by just one stroke.
The Bobcats finish off the tournament with the final round tomorrow, Sept. 15.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Georgia College prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.