FLORENCE, S.C. – Combining for a three-way tie in second place, the Georgia Southern men’s golf team shot a 2-over 290 on the opening day of the 74th Southern Conference Championship. Senior Ryan Zabroske led the way for the Eagles carding a 2-under par 70 and stands in a two-way tie for fourth place, three strokes out of first. The annual tournament is being contested at The Country Club of South Carolina, a par 72, 7,062-yard layout.
Furman boasts three players in the top six of the individual leaderboard, including day one leader Daniel Bowden, and holds a 10-stroke lead in first place. The Paladins posted an 8-under 280 and leads second-place Georgia Southern, UNC Greensboro and Appalachian State in second at 290 (+2). Chattanooga, Western Carolina and Elon stand tied for fifth at 295 (+7).
Teammate Garland Ferrell and Casey Johnson of Appalachian State follow Bowden in second-place at 3-under 69.
Zabroske was 1-under on both the front and back nine to compile his 2-under 70. The senior was one of only 10 players to post opening rounds in the red as he quickly responded after a slow start bogeying two of the first three holes. After pars on the next two, Zabroske finished the front nine with three birdies over the final four holes for a 1-under 35 before launching a pair of birdies on the back nine for a 2-under total. Zabroske, tied for fourth, is one shot out of second and three shots away from the individual leader at 5-under 67.
Two Eagles finished at 1-over for the day as senior Spence Fulford and junior Joe Monte stand tied for 15th-place at 73. Fulford took the turn at 1-over with two bogeys and a birdie on the front nine and was even on the back nine erasing a bogey on 14 with a birdie on the next hole. Meanwhile, Monte, after opening with a bogey, fired consecutive birdies for a 1-under scorecard and held the 1-under tally through 14 holes before a double bogey on 18 left the Eagle at 1-over for the day.
Matt Deal and Florian Sander are both tied for 21st after an opening round 74 (+2). Sander carded eight pars on the front nine and a bogey on five to make the turn at 1-over. Three bogeys intermixed with two birdies finalized the redshirt-freshman’s scorecard, while Deal had a nearly flawless round with 16 pars and two bogeys, one on both the front and back nine.
Round two of the three-day tournament has been moved back one hour on Monday, April 19 with the first teams teeing off at 9 a.m. Georgia Southern tees off at 9:50 with UNCG and Furman. The Eagles will be led by Deal. Live scoring can be found at www.golfstat.com.