October 31, 2011

Saints Treated with Tricky Course at TPC Sawgrass

Contact: Steve Cunha,

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL – After the first two rounds of play, the North Georgia men's golf team round out the field sitting in 12th place at the 2011 Majorie Whitney Invitational contested at the par-72 Dye's Valley Golf Course at the TPC Sawgrass facility.

The Saints played 36-holes on Monday following an opening round aggregate score 326 with a 329, falling from 11th to 12th. 

Nova Southeastern jumped from fifth to first with an aggregate score of 283 in the second round to hold a sixth shot advantage over Barry University. Abilene Christian sits in third, followed up by Barton College and host Queens University who are tied for fourth.

Ben Taylor of Nova Southeastern followed up an opening round even-par 72 with a five-under-par 67 to hold a four shot lead over Flagler's Gerg Mergel and Barry's Daniel Stapff. 

The top three players are the only players under-par through the first two round. Ricardo Celia of Nova Southeastern, Trey Sullivan of Abilene Christian and Kyle Davis of Queens are tied for fourth place at three-over-par.

The Saints two-round total 655 (326-329) leaves them four strokes behind 11th place Saint Thomas Aquinas heading into the final round of play. Through the first two rounds the Saints recorded 12 birdies and 83 pars as a team. 

For the first time all season, North Georgia has no players in the top 25 after 36-holes. The low scorer for the Saints was Port St. Joe, Florida native Grant Rish, who was consistent once again following an eight-over-par 80 with an eight-over-par 80.

For the second consecutive tournament, Rish shot identical scores in the first and second round. With his two-round total 160 Rish sits in a tie for 35th place. 

Freshman Aaron George continued his strong fall campaign following an opening round seven-over-par 79 with a 13-over-par 85. George's two-round total of 164 (79-85) sits in a tie for 46th place.

For the first time this fall Howard Duffin is not one of the top two scorers for the Saints after 36-holes. Duffin had a tough time battling the wind and other elements following an opening round 12-over-par 84 with an 11-over-par 83. 

It was the first time this fall that Duffin failed to shoot in the 70's or lower. Heading into the final round, Duffin finds himself in a tie for 55th place.

Bryson Womack (88-81) and Will Brackett (83-86) are tied for 60th place. Womack followed up an opening round 16-over-par 88 with a nine-over-par 81, while Brackett followed up an opening round 11-over-par 83 with a 14-over-par 86.

The Marjorie Whitney Invitational is hosted by Queens University and is held in honor of Majorie Whitney who was a freshman member of the Lady Royals 2009 women's golf team. Whitney passed away in a car accident over Christmas break of her freshman year. This is the first year the tournament holds this name, it was formerly known as the Queens Invitational. 

The Majorie Whitney Invitational is contested at the par-72 Dye's Valley Golf Course at the TPC Sawgrass facility. The course features 6,848 yards from the championship tees and with a course rating of 72.8 and a slope rating of 130 on Bermuda grass. Designed by Pete Dye, ASGCA, the Dye's Valley Golf Course opened in 1987.