Innisbrook, Fla. – The College of Coastal Georgia men's golf team finds itself in fourth place after the opening 36 holes Monday at the USCB Innisbrook Invitational.
Playing on the tough par-71 Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort which plays host to a PGA Tour event each spring, the Mariners posted scores of 304 and 296 on Monday to shoot 600 on the opening day of the two-day, 54-hole affair hosted by USC-Beaufort.
That score left Coastal Georgia in solo fourth, six strokes back of top-ranked and perennial power Oklahoma City which shot 594 over the first two rounds. The Stars shot back-to-back 297 scores in the morning and afternoon rounds.
Second-ranked Dalton State and ninth-ranked USC-Beaufort are tied for second at 598 and trail the Stars by four shots going into Tuesday's final 18.
Coastal Georgia, which is just two back of the second-place teams, is coming off a share of the tournament championship with Dalton State last week at the Thomas University Fall Invitational. The Mariners leaped from 20th to fifth in the national poll that was released last Friday after their impressive showing in their first fall tournament.
On Monday, Coastal Georgia's 296 in the afternoon tied for the lowest round of the day as Dalton State opened with a 296 in the morning to finish a shot ahead of the Stars in the first round.
"The course is tough as nails and the wind was blowing pretty good," said Coastal Georgia coach Mike Cook. "We threw away some shots especially in the first round but played better in the afternoon."
Coastal Georgia was led by junior transfer Mark David Johnson who shot 72-71 for a 1-over 143 score that moved him into second in the individual race after the opening day. Johnson finished second last week in the Thomas tournament behind Newport Laparojkit from USCB who jumped out to the lead again this week with a 1-under 141 score over the first 36 holes Monday. He shot 69 in the morning round and followed that with a 72 in round two.
The next highest finisher for the Mariners on Monday was Kyle Kidd who is tied for 15th at 151 after shooting 77-74.