PINEHURST, N.C. – Furman (+8) fired a 296 to tie for third place following Sunday's first round of play at the 2014 Southern Conference Men's Golf Championship at the par-72, 7,122 yard National Golf Club in Pinehurst, N.C.
Seeking their first title since 2010, the Paladins are just two strokes behind leaders Davidson (+6) and Western Carolina (+6), who each posted team rounds of 294 to share the opening-day lead.
Furman sophomores Preston Heyward (+1) and Preston Cole (+1) are among a six-way tie for seventh with after carding 73s in Sunday's round. Heyward birdied No. 7 to make the turn at an even 36 before birdieing No. 16 to finish one over, while Cole registered back-to-back birdies on No. 8 and No. 8 to make the turn at one over. Cole birdied No. 15 to also conclude the round at one over par.
Paladin freshman Bryce Howell (+3) and junior Michael Borton (+3) concluded Sunday's round tied for 15th after carding 75s. The Paladin duo each notched two birdies on the back, while Borton added an additional birdie to open the tournament on No. 1. Sophomore Wehman Hopke (+4) enters Monday's second round tied for 20th after shooting a 76 with a birdie on No. 10 on Sunday.
"We had a really solid start to the tournament, and I'm proud of our team's effort today," said Furman head coach Todd Satterfield following the round. "We need to continue to build momentum heading into the final two rounds of this tournament."
Western Carolina's J.T. Poston (-4) holds the individual lead after firing a 68 in Sunday's opening round. Poston, who is ranked 13th nationally, turned in a blemish-free first round, opening with a birdie before running off eight straight pars to make the turn at 1-under 35. He then birdied the first three holes of the back nine before closing with another six pars to sit at 4-under after the first round of play.
Second round action is slated for Monday at 8 a.m. with the Paladins scheduled to tee off of No. 1 beginning at 10:30 a.m. Final round action will take place on Tuesday morning.
The winner of the SoCon Championship will earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA regional, while the individual medalist will also earn an automatic regional qualification.
Fans can follow live scoring for the tournament by logging onto www.FurmanPaladins.com or at www.GolfStatResults.com.
2014 Southern Conference Men's Golf Championship
National Golf Club
Par-72, 7,122 yards
Top 10 individuals
1. J.T. Poston, Western Carolina 68
2. David Sargent, Davidson 70
T3. Will Evans, Georgia Southern 71
T3. Roy Dixon, UNCG 71
T5. Carter Jenkins, UNCG 72
T5. Sam Echikson, Davidson 72
T7. Tyler Lail, Western Carolina 73
T7. Preston Cole, Furman 73
T7. Preston Heyward, Furman 73
T7. Will DiIanni, Elon 73
T7. Hayden Anderson, Georgia Southern 73
T7. Liam Johnston, Chattanooga 73
T1. Davidson College 294
T1. Western Carolina 294
T3. Furman 296
T3. Georgia Southern 296
5. Chattanooga 297
6. UNCG 300
7. Wofford College 306
8. Appalachian State 310
9. Samford 314
10. Elon 316
3 Furman 296 +8
T7 Preston Heyward 73 +1
T7 Preston Cole 73 +1
T15 Bryce Howell 75 +3
T15 Michael Borton 75 +3
T20 Wehman Hopke 76 +4