This Week in Atlantic Sun Men's Golf, April 5
North Florida's Sean Dale is third nationally and the Ospreys are 16th in the nation entering this weekend's play.
North Florida's Sean Dale is third nationally and the Ospreys are 16th in the nation entering this weekend's play.

Friday, April 05, 2013

MACON, Ga. - With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, six A-Sun men's golf teams compete this week including No. 16 UNF, Mercer, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Northern Kentucky and FGCU.

Kennesaw State and Mercer • Irish Creek Collegiate • Kannapolis, N.C. April 6-7

Mercer and KSU play together for the second consecutive week, as KSU comes off one of its best showings of the season with a second-place finish at the Linger-Longer while the Bears finished sixth. Both teams will compete in their final regular-season tournament before the Atlantic Sun Conference Championships, beginning on Saturday when they open play in the Irish Creek Collegiate in Kannapolis, N.C. The format calls for 54 holes to be played over two days with 36 holes scheduled for Saturday and the final 18 slated for Sunday. Play commences with an 8:30 a.m. (ET) shotgun start followed by Sunday’s final round that begins at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

All 54 holes of the 17-team Irish Creek Collegiate can be followed live on the Internet by logging on to www.golfstatresults.com.

The Club at Irish Creek is a par-71, 7,099-yard layout and is hosting the Irish Creek Collegiate for the fourth consecutive year. The 17-team field includes host Akron, Appalachian State, Charlotte, Davidson, East Carolina, Kennesaw State, Louisville, Marshall, Mercer, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Richmond, UNC Wilmington, Virginia Commonwealth and Xavier.

Kennesaw State is competing in the Irish Creek Collegiate for the third time in the last four years, and the Bears for the fourth consecutive year. The Owls took part in the event in 2010 and 2001 and finished third and fifth, respectively. Mercer has finished in the Top 5 in two of the last three years, including a third-place finish last year. This year marks the 16th year of the tournament and Kent State is the defending champion after posting a 27-under par 825 score and 14-shot victory over Duke. Mercer Junior James Beale is the defending individual champion after capturing medalist honors following a 13-under par total of 200.

In their last time out, the Owls turned in one of their most impressive performances of the season at the Linger Longer Intercollegiate two weeks ago when they finished second at the 14-team field that included six teams ranked in Golfstat’s Top 50. Kennesaw State recorded an even-par 56-hole total in the rain-shortened event and finished only behind No. 2 Alabama, which won the team title for a third straight year with a 16-under par score of 560. The Owls finished ahead of No. 14 Oklahoma State, No. 10 Georgia Tech and No. 12 Georgia. Sophomore Austin Vick was Kennesaw State’s top finisher, tying for fifth with a 3-under par 141 following rounds of 70-71.

Mercer took sixth place finish in its last event, the Linger Longer Invitational, after Sunday's final round was cancelled to due rainfall at the Great Waters Golf Course.  Senior John Gregory Joseph and sophomore Trey Rule each took home ties for 17thplace as Mercer's top finishers in the event.

Alabama captured the Linger Longer team title for the third-straight season with a 36-hole score of 560.  Kennesaw State (576) placed second while Oklahoma State (577), Georgia Tech (579) and Georgia (582) rounded out the top five.

FGCU at Jim West Intercollegiate • McKinney, Texas • April 8-9

North Florida at Gary Koch Invitational • Tamps, Fla. • April 8-9

FGCU and North Florida also join Kennesaw State in looking to build off the momentum from their last tournaments. The No. 16 Ospreys head to the Gary Koch Invitational in Tampa, April 8-9, fresh off their second-place finish at the Furman Intercollegiate. The performance marked the team's fourth consecutive top-three showing this spring. The Ospreys posted a two-under 862 total, including a final round 292, over the three-day competition held at the par 72, 6,994-yard Furman University Golf Course. Sophomore MJ Maguire led the way for UNF finishing tied for fourth at three-under 213 with a last day 73.
 
Maguire was joined among the Top 10 individuals by senior teammate Kevin Phelan, who shot a one-under 71 on Sunday en route to a three-day 214 (-2). Senior Sean Dale also finished the event strong for the Ospreys earning a tie for 15th with an even-par 216. The trio remains nationally ranked, as Dale checks in at No. 3, Phelan at No. 17 and Maguire at No. 31 in the latest GolfWeek rankings.

The prestigious Gary Koch Invitational is held at the Old Memorial Golf Club. The 54-hole event is co-hosted by Auburn and Kentucky and will include 36 holes played Monday and 18 holes played Tuesday with tee times both days.

The 14-team field includes seven nationally ranked teams that will play the Old Memorial course at a par-72 at 7,389 yards. The field includes UNCG, No. 11 Georgia Tech, No. 12 Florida, No. 19 Florida State, No. 16 North Florida, No. 21 Auburn, No. 25 Wake Forest, No. 52 Georgia Southern, Jacksonville, Kentucky, Ohio State, Pacific, South Florida and the College of Charleston.

FGCU joins 11 other teams in the Jim West Intercollegiate at the TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas. In their last outing, the Eagles carded the lowest round of the final day of the FAU Spring Break Championship with a 288 to tie for second place in the 18-team field at The Fountains Country Club.

One of just two teams in the field to break 290 in two rounds, the Green and Blue’s 288 followed Saturday’s 287 and Friday’s opening 298 for a three-day total of 873. FGCU made up a 13-stroke deficit over the final two rounds to tie Hartford (285-294-294/873) for second.

Freshman Jake Sherwin was FGCU’s low-man all three rounds, finishing just two strokes out of first place in a three-way tie for third place. The only player in the field of 96 to shoot even-par or lower all three rounds, Sherwin sandwiched a two-under 69 between a pair of even-par 71s to shoot 211. The Fort Myers product carded 42 pars and seven birdies over the weekend, playing the par 5s at four-under.

The 11 other teams in the Jim West field include Arkansas-Litle Rock, No. 46 Ball State, Campbell, McNeese State, Northern Illinois, Oral Roberts, Stephen F. Austin State, No. 7 TCU, Texas State, UTSA and No. 42 Vanderbilt.

Northern Kentucky and Lipscomb • Grub Mart Intercollegiate - Silver Lakes • Jacksonville, Ala. • April 7-9

Northern Kentucky winds up its regular season schedule and Lipscomb joins the field at the Grub mart Intercollegiate - Silver Lakes in Jacksonville, Ala. The Norse shot rounds of 307-299 for a two-day total of 606 and a sixth-place finish at the Jim Bishop Toyota Classic in their last tourmament, which was hosted by the University of North Alabama at the par-72 Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at the Shoals Fighting Joe Course.

Two NKU golfers finished in the Top 25, led by Steve Rickels who turned in rounds of 76-72 for a two-round total of 148 and a share of seventh place.  Jones Brown finished four strokes behind after he shot a 152 (76-76) over the two rounds, tying for 15th place. It was the second Top-10 finish of the season for Rickels and the eighth Top-25 finish for Brown.

Lipscomb tied with tournament host and champion Southeastern Louisiana for the best third-round score and finished sixth in the Carter Plantation Intercollegiate, their last event which concluded March 19. The Bisons also had a pair of Top-25 finishers. Ryan Terry tied for 11th place with a score of 220 (72, 79, 69). His 69 tied for the low score in the third round. Blanton Farmer placed in a tie for 24th with a 225 (70, 80, 75).