September 15, 2009

GSW leads Darton Invite after first day

By Scott Chancey, The Albany Herald

Georgia Southwestern leads the six-team Darton Invitational by three stokes after the first day of play. 

GSW junior Reece Moseley, who is playing as an individual, leads the overall field with a 2-under 70. Former Lee County turned Georgia Southwestern standout Nate Gahman -- the reigning Herald Player of the Year for boys golf -- and Darton's Trey McQuaig are tied for second at 71.

"I don't know how we did that because we didn't play that well," Georgia Southwestern coach Stan Shurling said. "Reece, although he didn't qualify to count in our team scoring, he played well (Monday). He played very solid and putted well."

Thomas University is third (305), followed by Abraham Baldwin No. 1 (306), ABAC No. 2 (320) and Andrew (324). The second round, weather permitting, starts at 10 a.m. today.

Although Darton has hosted their tournaments mostly at either Stonebridge Golf & Country Club or Doublegate Country Club, having one at River Pointe is not an excuse in Dover's eyes for struggling. He pointed out that his players had played "six or seven" rounds there this fall already.

"The course shouldn't be a mystery to them," said Dover, who coached Darton to NJCAA Division II championships from 2005-07.

Josh Cone shot a 75 for Darton, followed by Roy Steinberg (78), Jason Bennett (79) and Taylor Cooksey (82). Playing as individuals, Darton's Taylor Wellborn and Jared Wagenaar carded scores of 76.

Two of Georgia Southwestern's three other top scores came from those who also played as individuals. Tyler Williams had a 74 and Will Smith had a 76. J.P. Griffin, meanwhile, carded a 74 to join Gahman as those who had scores counting toward the team total.

"Nate only hit six greens, but he got the ball up and down all day," Shurling said.

Craig Gibson (77), Christopher Chapman (78) and Charles Pennington (80) rounded out the Hurricanes' scoring. Chris Hall (tendonitis) and Jamie Ward (academic clearinghouse issues) qualified to be among the five GSW players counting toward the team score Monday, but were unable to play due to those issues.

"The most surprising thing was Craig shooting that 77," Shurling said. "He just came in from Canada, and he's a much better player than that."

Andrew's scorers were James Williams (76), Zach Gibson (78), John Law (79), Jacob Wiles (91) and Lance Martin (101).