By Angela Moryan, Sports Information Student Assistant
VALDOSTA, Ga. – The Georgia College Golf team traveled south to the Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta Sunday to start a three-day tournament against a multitude of nationally-ranked teams in the 2016 First Federal Southeastern Collegiate hosted by Valdosta State University. The Bobcats went to the clubhouse after round one shooting a collective 15-over for a 17th place day one finish.
Head coach Patrick Garrett sent five of his best athletes to compete. Junior Harrison Stewart (Roswell) and senior David Sullivan (Woodstock) made their third straight spring start while junior Harry Lambert (Suwanee) traveled for his second straight week. Both juniors Thomas Knight (Eastman) and Nicolas Falkinhoff (Buenos Aires, Argentina) had their debut start for 2016.
The Bobcats had a strong start to their first round, creeping towards the top-10 after an eight-over front-nine team finish. Three Bobcats recorded a couple of birdies each on the par-36 first leg with the other two marking a birdie of their own. The par-five No. 4 proved to be the toughest challenge for Georgia College. Sullivan was the only Bobcat to move to the No. 5 tee unscathed while his teammates recorded two bogeys and two double-bogeys.
The Bobcats struggled a bit more on the back nine, posting 13 bogeys and two doubles with only two birdies and one eagle.
Sullivan came off the course in the lead among his Bobcat teammates. He had a mixed first few holes, his birdie on the first followed by two bogeys on the par-five second and par-four third. The rest of his card was clear of color, shooting straight par and finishing at T25 one-over 73 on the par-72, 7,313-yard course. Sullivan finished in the top-25 in the 93-golfer field.
Lambert sits under Sullivan on the Bobcat leaderboard, coming off a four-over 76 first round. His two birdies on the card put him on top of the Bobcats before squaring off the second half of the round with four bogeys. Currently, he has the Bobcats' second best T59 position in the tournament.
Falkinhoff and Stewart are one behind Lambert, both bogeying into the clubhouse. Stewart had a good start to the day, his three birdies evening out the score for the walk to the No. 13 tee. But a bogey on 13 and a four-over effort on the final three brought him down to T65 overall. Falkinhoff had a similarly mixed round. He shot four-over through four before grabbing a couple birdies. A third birdie on the par-five No. 11 helped him out, but he struggled on Nos. 17 and 18, adding two strokes to his round one score.
Knight posted the highest round but also the best hole for the Bobcats on Sunday. His double on No. 4 preceded by two bogeys was tough to overcome, but he birdied No. 9 and eagled No. 11 to try and erase the rocky start. He recorded another double, though, on the par-three No. 15 and finished at T75 with six-over on the day.
The Bobcats are back out on the course tomorrow for round two. At the end of the first round, No. 5 Florida Southern College leads the field with a team two-under. No. 15 University of North Alabama sits one back with No. 2 St. Leo University at even par. No. 4 Nova Southeastern University and No. 8 Lynn University are tied for fourth while No. 3 University of West Florida and Armstrong State University have the three-over sixth spot. No. 6 Barry University, No. 49 Lander University and No. 13 Lee University round out the top-10 after one round of play in Valdosta.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on social media for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.