Bucs fire four rounds in the 60s to finish strong at Jerry Pate
Bucs fire four rounds in the 60s to finish strong at Jerry Pate
Tuesday, October 10, 2006


            BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Oct. 10, 2006) - The ETSU men's golf team fired its lowest round of the year and one of the best in program history, as the 13th-ranked Bucs posted four rounds in the 60s and finished the third round with a team score of 272 to rally for a sixth-place finish in the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate Tuesday at the Old Overton Course.


            Leading the way for ETSU on the leaderboard was senior and two-time All-American Rhys Davies (Bridgend, Wales), who finished fourth individually after carding a 68 for his third consecutive sub-70 round of the event. Meanwhile - and perhaps most encouraging - was the fact that freshman Niall Kearney (Dublin, Ireland) fired the team's low round of the day with a 67, while fellow freshman Seamus Power (Waterford, Ireland) finished tied for 14th on the leaderboard with a 69 on the final day.


            The Bucs finished the event 15 strokes off the pace of team champion and No. 1-ranked Alabama, but most of that deficit was in place after the first round. In fact, the host Crimson Tide held a 20-stroke advantage over ETSU at one point, only to see the Bucs tie them in the second round and beat them by five strokes in the final round. Individually, Joseph Sykora of Alabama won the individual championship with a score of 14-under 199, besting second place by two strokes.


Other ETSU results included a 68 from junior Gareth Shaw (Lisburn, Northern Ireland) and a 73 from fellow junior Cian McNamara (Limerick, Ireland). Kearney ended the day tied for 27th, while Shaw was tied for 35th.


"We played well with 272 in the second round and 272 in the third," said ETSU head coach Fred Warren. "We showed a lot yesterday afternoon and today, and to start the second round in 11th and battle back to where we finished is encouraging. This is a good golf course, and conditions were perfect for scoring to go low. Rhys is just playing great and Seamus really looked good this week.


"We're pleased and we're getting closer to where we want to be. I thought it would be spring before our freshmen could get the experience they needed, but they played well - especially today. Hopefully we can carry this momentum into our tournament this weekend at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at The Ridges."


Indeed, the Bucs will now set their sights on this weekend's host event, as they will get a rematch with Alabama, who will enter the event again as the nation's No. 1-ranked team. The Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate will be played Saturday and Sunday, with a practice round scheduled for Friday.


For more on this weekend's tournament and live scoring from the event, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's golf page.