Georgia Southern senior golfer Jake Maples helped put the bash in the opening round of the inaugural Battle in the Boro golf tournament. Maples fired rounds of 68, and 69 to help the Eagles to a six-stroke lead after day one at the Georgia Southern University Course.
In the Georgia Southern men’s golf team’s first team competition at the University course, seven teams played 18 holes Monday morning, and 18 more that afternoon. In a rare sight for collegiate golf, golfers were allowed to ride in carts for the first day of the competition. The Eagles finished day one with five golfers currently in the top 10, and all are under par.
Maples is in second place individually and led the way for the Eagles at -7, followed by Mason Williams with rounds of 71, and 68 at -5. Ben Carr is tied for fourth at -4, Colin Bowles is in 8th at -2 and Brett Baron is tied for 10th at -1.
“The golf course was incredible, the weather was really nice, and our guys played well,” said Georgia Southern Coach Carter Collins. “The boys just played really well, they’re just good. They put in a lot of hard work to prepare for this event, and I think a lot of that showed today.”
Collins was not surprised by Maples scores, as he feels the course fits the style of his 5th year senior.
“Jake is awesome, and his track record at this golf course is really good,” said Collins. “Really his track record since coming to Georgia Southern is really good. He’s a great player, and we are so glad he decided to come back for his fifth year of senior eligibility and we are proud of how he’s been competing.”
Maples had a bogey free first round, and was able to recover nicely from a pair of bogies in the second round as he hit his approach on the par-3 16th hole to within about four feet, and tapped in for birdie. Maples then left his second shot on the par-4 17th long and left, but chipped in from about 30 feet away for a birdie.
“I thought I played really solid,” said Maples. “I played bogey free in the first round, and was hoping to do the same in the second round. I had a couple mental errors , I fought through that, and kind of got lucky on 17 making that birdie. I’m going to keep grinding tomorrow, and I hope we can all play well.”
Augusta University made a strong run on the second 18, coming from 13 strokes back to getting within six shots of the Eagles by the end of the day. Leading the way was Jack Vajda, who flirted with former Eagle Steven Fisk’s course record 62. Vajda made the turn at -6, and then birdied the 10th and 11th hole to get to -8 with seven holes to go. Vajda played the final seven holes at even par, but leads the tournament at -11.
The Eagles had five players playing as individuals. Of that group Avery Price and Jacob Bayer lead the way at +1. Lindsey Cordell finished at +2, and Wilson Andress is at +4.
The tournament concludes Tuesday with all teams playing 18 holes. The Eagles will tee off the first hole at 8:45 a.m.
The Georgia Southern women’s golf team is playing their first tournament of the fall as they participate in the Callaway Gardens Invitational.
The Eagles are currently in 7th place in the 10-team field after shooting +16 for the first 18 holes. Middle Tennessee State leads the way at +4.
Individually Julianna Collett leads the way for the Eagles after shooting a 2-over 73. Emma Bell is tied for 19th at +2, and Kaysie Harrelson is tied for 32nd at +5. Statesboro’s Abby Newton playing in her first collegiate tournament shot a 6-over 77 and is currently tied for 40th place.
The Eagles continue in the 3-day tournament Tuesday morning. Live scoring for the men and women can be found at golfstat.com