Men's golf takes 10th at Linger Longer Invitational

(photo courtesy of MercerBears.com) Mercer's Josh Cone attempts to get out of the sand, helping the Bears score well in the first round with a even-par 72.

(photo courtesy of MercerBears.com) Mercer's Josh Cone attempts to get out of the sand, helping the Bears score well in the first round with a even-par 72.

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(photo courtesy of MercerBears.com) Mercer's Josh Cone attempts to get out of the sand, helping the Bears score well in the first round with a even-par 72.

The men’s golf team posted the fifth best team score on the final day of the Linger Longer Invitational to cement their tenth place finish in the competitive 13 team field. Thanks to Thomas Holmes’ 72 and a trio of 73’s from Jone Cone, John Gregory Joseph, and Matt Kocolowski, the Bears posted their best round total of the tournament with a 291, nine strokes better than their first round.

Co-hosting the tournament held in Greensboro, Ga. at the Great Waters Golf Course, a part of Reynold’s Plantation, head coach Andrew Tredway had to be happy with the effort from his lineup after slipping to 11th after the second day of the tournament. Mercer (898) would finish eight strokes behind Coastal Carolina while national power Alabama (846) would run away with the victory by 18 strokes over Chattanooga (864).

Individually, University of Alabama freshman Cory Whitsett (1st, 64-68-71) would play the tournament of his life, scoring a 64 in the opening round with seven birdies on the front nine before accumulating three birdies and two bogies on the back nine. Teammate Bud Cauley (2nd, 72-65-67) would come oh-so close to taking away the title, but Whitsett held off his teammate with outstanding play.

Meanwhile for Mercer, Josh Cone (T-24th, 72-76-73) put together the most consistent round for the Bears, besting teammate Mookie DeMoss (T-36th, 74-76-75) by four strokes. John Gregory Joseph (47th, 76-78-73), Matt Kocolowski (T-48th, 78-77-73), and Thomas Holmes (T-53rd, 78-79-72) would round out the Bears’ lineup for the weekend.

“We really got off to a decent start, hitting it close, and just not capitalizing on those opportunities,” said Tredway after the first round on MercerBears.com. “It got away from us quickly from there and we just couldn’t make any putts,” he added.

The head coach was notably disappointed in the team’s effort when the orange and black slipped from 9th to 11th following the second round, but was slightly encouraged with the team’s fight on the final day.

“We just need to build some confidence and have a couple guys put together some solid rounds on the same day,” he added.

Solid rounds were abound on the final day, as Thomas Holmes grinded out five birdies to match three bogeys and a double on the 13th hole. His teammates would follow suit, making up for bad holes by capitalizing on opportunities throughout the day.

With the 10th place finish, the Bears enter one more tournament, the Irish Creek Invitational at the Irish Creek Golf Course in Charlotte, N.C., before the finale in Duluth in mid-April. Hosted once again at the Chateau Elan course, Tredway’s squad will look to upset the conference’s best squads with a team that has faced top-caliber competition all year long. As of mid-March, Mercer was ranked #101 by GolfWeek.com, trailing conference opponents UNF (#53), Kennesaw State (#56), FGCU (#73), ETSU (#94), and Campbell (#95).

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