Valdosta, Ga. – The College of Coastal Georgia men's golf team enjoyed a record round Monday as it opened its fall season here at the Thomas University Fall Invitational in grand style.
With three players shooting scores in the 60s at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club, the Mariners posted a 10-under par 278 team score which is the best in school history on a par-72 course. That score also gave the No. 20 Mariners the early lead in the 36-hole event as No. 14 USC-Beaufort shot 285 and trails the Mariners by seven shots on the leaderboard.
The previous best single-round score in relation to par by a Coastal Georgia team was a 9-under 279 at the 2015 Thomas tournament and also the 2014 Bash at the Beach in Daytona.
"It was our first round of competition on the road with three players teeing it up for the first time as a Mariner," said Coastal Georgia coach Mike Cook. "I had no idea what to expect. They showed up today."
Eamon Owen certainly did. The Coastal Georgia junior shot 5-under 67 to bolt to the top of the leaderboard after the opening 18. He is tied for the lead with Newport Laparojkit who also opened with a 67 score.
Coastal Georgia freshman Chip Thompson is tied for third after shooting a 68 in his debut with the Mariners. He is just a stroke back of the co-leaders along with Valentin Haack from SCAD-Savannah who also shot 68 in round one.
Coastal Georgia's third round in the 60s was posted by junior transfer Mark David Johnson who opened with a 69 and is tied for fifth, just two shots off the lead.
"I was happy to see Eamon play the way he is capable of," Cook said. "Chip certainly didn't look like a freshman out there today and Mark David shot a 69 and probably left a few shots out there. Kyle Kidd got off to a slow start but fought hard and held his round together and Harrison Stafford held his round together as well.
"It was a good start. We still have to play tomorrow. We can't take anything for granted."
On the team leaderboard, second-ranked Dalton State and eighth-ranked Keiser both shot 289 and are tied for third. SCAD-Savannah shot 291 to grab the fifth spot.
The tournament features 13 teams.
The Mariners were originally scheduled to open their season at home in the Coastal Georgia Fall Invitational on Sept. 10 but that tournament was postponed by Hurricane Irma.