The Chattanooga Mocs men’s golf team is in second at 36 holes of the J.T. Poston Invitational. The Mocs 549 is two off the pace set by South Carolina at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley and four clear of Middle Tennessee in third.
Freshman Braedon Wear had a boring day. Back-to-back 66s ties Oliver Simonsen for the best 36-hole score in school history with 132. He turned in 12 birdies, 22 pars and just two bogeys. Sophomore Paul Conroy is a mere shot behind him at 133 with the duo sitting 1-2 on the player leaderboard.
Matt Smith is next, tied for 17th at 139. Connor Nolan has 146, while Gabe Hunter turned in 155. Freshmen Parker Highsmith and Gage Winkler got their first taste of collegiate golf playing as individuals. Highsmith posted two 73s for 146, while Winkler is three behind with 149 coming back from 77 with 72.
The lads started with 8-under 276. That was eight behind first round leader Middle Tennessee with South Carolina in between at 274. The duo of Wear and Smith got it rolling early. They matched each other with 66s, two ahead of Conroy’s 68. Hunter completed the 276 with 76.
It got better in the afternoon. Shave three more strokes for an 11-under 273. That’s the lowest tally by the Mocs since the same score in the second round of the 2013 AutoTrader Collegiate. It’s tied for the second lowest 18-hole score (266-2008 Aldila Scenic City Invite).
Conroy was the low man with 65. That was one better than Wear who followed his 66 with well, 66. Nolan fired 69 with 73 from Smith ending the scoring. It was obviously a great day for scoring with around 80 par or better spread through the field with six coming from the Mocs, all in the 60s.
Today’s 36-hole total of 549 is just two off the school record. The Mocs shot 21-under 547 in the 2007 Scenic City Invitational at Council Fire Golf Club. It’s two better than the low score outside the Chattanooga area ahead of 551 (-17) at the 2019 Alister MacKenzie Invite.
Tuesday’s final 18 begins at 10:05 a.m., for the Mocs. The five are paired with the Gamecocks and Blue Raiders heading off No. 1. Hunter begins it followed by Nolan (10:14), Smith (10:23), Conroy (10:32) and Wear (10:41).