OPELIKA, Ala. – The Charlotte 49ers men’s golf team stands seventh after 36 holes of action at the 2014 Tiger Invitational hosted by the University of Auburn. The Niners improved 14 shots in round two jumping from 11th to 7th heading into Tuesday’s final 18 holes on the 7,149-yard, par 72 layout of the Grand National Lake Course. Riley Davenport had the best overall day for Charlotte finding himself inside the top-20 heading into the final round.
Franco Castro had a rough start to Monday’s action with a 79 (+7) the first time around before rebounding nicely for an even-par 72 over his second round. Castro struggled all throughout the first round with just one birdie on the 522-yard, par five 12th to keep his round under 80. In round two, Castro fired off three birdies on the front side for a 33 before struggling to the finish line after 36 holes concluding at an even-par 72.
Raoul Menard stumbled out of the gates in round one but came back with birdies on the par-3 eighth and par-5 14th. Menard was just two shots over on both sides for an opening 76. Menard again had trouble starting his second round of the day but came back with a birdie on seven, 14 again, back-to-back with 15 and ending with another one on 18 for a one-under 71.
Davenport put together the best 36-hole day for the Niners with a two-over 74 followed by an even-par 72. Davenport stands tied for 17th among the 81 participants heading into Tuesday’s final round. Davenport would collect three birdies in round one followed by six on the second trip around. Davenport birdie five, seven and 12 in both rounds on Monday.
Thomas Rowland, who won Irish Creek medalist honors a couple of weeks ago, put together solid rounds of 75 and 77 contributing to the team score after his performance two weeks ago. Rowland recorded a birdie twice in round one after dropping a couple of shots on previous holes. Rowland started with a birdie in round two before giving a few shots back to end his front nine in front of birdie on his fourth-to-last hole, the par-3 17th.
Seth Gandy, like Castro, carded a tough 79 in the opening round but bounced back to play four shots better on the second trip around for a 75. Gandy managed just one birdie in round one before adding two more on the second. John Boehme, playing as an individual in this week’s tournament, carded a pair of consistent rounds of 78 and 79. Gandy dropped a pair of birdies on the par-3 third and par-5 seventh midway through his opening round.
Host and 28th-ranked Auburn leads the field after the first two rounds with a team score of 564 (-12). The Tigers have a 10 shot lead over #42 Kennesaw State and 21 shot advantage over third place and 38th-ranked Memphis. Auburn’s Niclas Carlsson has a one-shot lead over Tomasz Anderson of Jacksonville State. Carlsson carded a seven-under 65 followed by a two-under 70.
Charlotte will be paired with Jacksonville State and VCU on Tuesday starting with an 8:45 a.m. (EST) off of the front side.