Davies fires record 63, leads at UK Derby Invitational
Davies fires record 63, leads at UK Derby Invitational
Monday, May 9, 2005


            LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 9, 2005) - In what the East Tennessee State men's golf team hopes is a tune up for the NCAA East Regionals later this month, sophomore Rhys Davies (Bridgend, Wales) showed Monday that he's certainly primed for his first trip to the national tournament.


Davies posted a new course and ETSU record for single-round score, firing a 9-under-par 63 in the first round of the UK Derby Invitational at the University Club of Kentucky's Big Blue Course. Following the 63 - which bested the previous course record of 65 - Davies finished the second round with a score of 2-under 70, and currently holds a three-stroke lead over Kentucky's John Holmes and Vanderbilt's Luke List.


"It was a long day today playing two rounds in this heat," said Davies, who already has a school-record four individual tournament titles this season - including the 2005 Southern Conference Championship. "I played very solidly and holed a lot of putts. I turned in a 31 on my first nine of the tournament, and an 80-foot putt for eagle on the back really changed things from a solid round to a good round. It was very pleasing."


Davies' 63 bests the school record that both he and former Buccaneer Chris Wisler had held. Davies, who is currently ranked third nationally, fired his previous best at the Coca-Cola Tournament of Champions last fall, while Wisler's 64 came at the Golf World Invitational in the fall of 2000.


While Davies' efforts were a positive for the Bucs, a freak accident put a damper on the day, as ETSU senior Cennydd Mills (Cardiff, Wales) was struck in the head by an errant tee shot from freshman Gareth Shaw (Lisburn, Northern Ireland). According to head coach Fred Warren, Mills was examined by doctors later in the day and is doing well. He is listed as day-to-day at this point.


            "He may be able to go tomorrow (Tuesday), but we'll have to wait and see," Warren said.


            On the team leaderboard, the Bucs held the first-round lead by three strokes over Kentucky, but finished the day with a tough second round. The team is currently 16 strokes back in third.

The final round will conclude today.


UK Derby Invitational
University Club of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.) May 9-10, 2005; Par: 72, Yardage: 6992

Monday Team Results
1. Kentucky 286-286=572 -4
2. Vanderbilt 292-291=583 +7
3. ETSU 283-305=588 +12
Individual Results
1. Rhys Davies, ETSU 63-70=133
2. John Holmes, Kentucky 70-66=136
3. Luke List, Vanderbilt 68-70=138
4. Mark Blakefield, Kentucky 71-72=143
5. Brandon Waldrop Kentucky 70-76=146
ETSU Results
1. Rhys Davies 63-70=133
T8. Cian McNamara 74-74=148
13. Gareth Shaw 72-80=152
15. Steve Arnold 74-81=155
* T8. Noel Kavanagh 74-74=148
* -- competing as an individual