Montgomery, Ala. – The College of Coastal Georgia men's golf team finds itself in a deep hole after 36 holes at the SSAC Men's Golf Championship.
Despite shooting a score that was four shots better than their total score in Friday's opening round, the Mariners dropped to third place and fell even further behind tournament leader Dalton State following Saturday's second round in the league tournamet at the par-70 Montgomery Country Club.
The top-ranked Mariners shot a 292 score in round two to go with their 296 from Friday which put them at 28-over-par 588 for the tournament. That score leaves the Mariners 19 strokes behind No. 15 Dalton State which sits atop the leaderboard with a 569 score. The Roadrunners took the lead on Friday with a 285 and turned in the low round again on Saturday with their 284 to widen their lead in the 54-hole championship.
William Carey, which was tied with the Mariners for second after Friday, shot a 291 in the second round to go with its 296 and is just a stroke ahead of the Mariners going into the final round at 587 for the tournament.
It now looks like it will take a collapse by the Roadrunners or a really low round by the Mariners for Coastal Georgia to come away with more than a possible runner-up trophy on Sunday. Two-time defending NAIA national champion Coastal Georgia came here looking to win its first SSAC title after coming up short of the league crown its three previous attempts.
Coastal Georgia's Trevor Smith is making a bid for the individual title after shooting 1-under 69 on Saturday. He shot a 73 on Friday and is currently tied for third on the leaderboard at 142. That leaves him three shots off the lead pace set by Dalton State's Sean Elliott and Chase Jones who are tied atop the leaderboard at 139.
Elliott, the defending SSAC champion and reigning NAIA individual champion, has posted scores of 69 and 70 the first two days while Jones shot 71 in round one and a tournament-best 68 on Saturday.
Also for Coastal Georgia, SSAC Player of the Year Dillon Board is tied for ninth at 148 (74-74) along with teammate Harrison Stafford (75-73), Eamon Owen is tied for 20th at 150 (74-76) and Seth Sanders is tied for 24th at 151 (74-76).
"Trevor had a nice round. Other than that, it was below average," said Coastal Georgia coach Mike Cook. "We'll have to go very low tomorrow."
Rounding out the top five in the team tournament are Mobile, which is fourth at 592, and Faulkner, which is fifth at 597. Mobile is receiving votes for the national Top 25 while Faulkner is ranked No. 20.
The Mariners entered the conference tournament having won four of five events this spring and three in a row including the Golfweek NAIA Spring Invitational in its previous start which featured several of the country's top teams. After their 17-shot winning margin there, the Mariners leaped from third to first in the national rankings to occupy the top spot heading into the postseason.