by Tyler Peck, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ga. - The No. 1 Georgia College & State University golf team jumped eight slots in one round today (Oct. 6), firing an even-par team score of 284 to finish in sixth at the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational. The 11-stroke improvement over round one helped GCSU finish second among Peach Belt Conference (PBC) schools, as No. 21 Lander University tied for fourth at the Green Island Country Club.
Junior Joe Young (Cochran, Ga.) led the Bobcats, tying for sixth with a final round 68 (-3) and total of 141 (-1) on the par-71, 6,435-yard course. The sixth place finish is Young's third top-10 of the fall season in four tournaments and he is averaging 71.2 strokes per round.
Senior Francisco Bide (Buenos Aires, Argentina) shot an even-par 71 today to finish with a 146 (+4) and tie for 43rd. Bide's stroke average is 71.8 and he has competed in all four tourneys for Georgia College thus far.
Taylor Smith and Billy Shida finished tied for 52nd at the AFLAC/Cougar Invite with scores of 147. The redshirt-freshman Smith fired an even-par 71 today as junior Shida shot a plus-three 74. Smith has played in two tournaments with a 73.0 stroke average while Shida has a 72.8 stroke average in four starts.
Three-time All-American senior Niclas Johansson (Skanor, Sweden) struggled today, firing a six-over 77 to finish tied for 77th with a final score of 151 (+9). The senior has averaged 72.0 strokes a round this season and this is the first tournament where he finished outside the top-10.
No. 3 Barry University took the team title at seven-under par, and was the only team to shoot lower than Georgia College in round two, carding a 278. The Buccaneers bested No. 11 University of North Alabama by 10 strokes.
PBC member Georgia Southwestern State University boasted the individual medalist, in the form of Craig Gibson, who shot a 72-65=137 for five under, edging Valdosta State University's Chesley Gunn by one stroke.
Georgia College returns to the links Oct. 19-20 to play in Georgia Southern University's Mizuno Savannah Intercollegiate.
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.