GOLF TEAM WITHIN STRIKING DISTANCE AFTER TWO ROUNDS AT GROVER PAGE CLASSIC
March 11, 2013
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JACKSON, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin golf team finds itself only six strokes off the lead and in third place after two rounds of play at the Grover Page Classic. Fighting through wet course conditions and cold winds the defending champion Skyhawks turned in a pair of 9-over-par 297s today and sit only two strokes behind Lipscomb and six shots off the pace of tournament leader Union University.
The 2013 Grover Page Classic is a 54-hole stroke play tournament conducted by The University of Tennessee at Martin and hosted at the Jackson Country Club in Jackson, Tenn. The 75-player field is made up of 13 teams, including eight from the state of Tennessee and five Ohio Valley Conference member institutions, along with 11 participants competing as individuals. The par 72 Jackson Country Club course is playing at a length of 6,783 yards.
Brendon Caballero and Clay Harbin led the charge for UT Martin in the opening rounds. After a 3-over-par opening round, Caballero rebounded to fire even-par on the second trip around the course and finds himself in a tie for eighth at 75-72-147. Harbin is also one of three players tied for eighth after he carded rounds of 73-74-147.
Skyhawks head coach Jerry Carpenter said of Caballero and Harbin’s efforts that, “both had very good rounds today considering the conditions. They, and the rest of the team, were able to keep their focus throughout the day even though it was cold and windy.”
Ben Reeves is two strokes back at 5-over-par in a tie for 14th after going 74-75-149, while Tyler Shellnut sits in 18th at 7-over-par with rounds of 75-76-151. Rounding out the scoring for the Skyhawks was Graham Sleigh who carded rounds of 77-86-163.
“As a team we did nice job playing hard and making good decisions to hit the right clubs at the right time,” Carpenter said. He added that “the course at Jackson Country Club is an awesome site to have a collegiate tournament. There are not many courses that can take a two inch rain overnight and still have it as nice and playable the next day as these guys did here.”
UT Martin also had a second squad in the field, the UT Martin Orange team, which sits in fifth place in the team competition. The Orange squad was led by Tyler Guy’s 1-over-par showing and which lands him in a tie for sixth place after carding round of 74-71-145. Joining Caballero and Harbin in a tie for eighth is Taylor Deming after recording rounds of 75-72-147. John Sisinni and Austin Smith rounded out the scoring for the Orange squad and sit tied for 34th at 11-over-par 155.
Carpenter said of the Orange teams showing that, “Tyler and Taylor both played very well and have the Orange team sitting in a good position to have a top five finish.”
In the team competition Union University leads at 12-over-par 588, with Lipscomb at 16-over-par 592 and UT Martin on two shots back at 18-over-par 594. Rounding out the top five is Murray State at 23-over-par and the UT Martin Orange squad at 26-over-par 602.
Union’s Brett Barry used the low round of the day, a 6-under-par 66, to take a one stroke lead in the individual competition at 4-under-par 140. Patrick Newcomb of Murray State sits one stroke back in second after rounds of 74-67-141, while Blanton Farmer of Lipscomb is in third after a 68-74-142 showing. At 1-under-par in fourth place is Union’s Kody Alexander, followed by Andrew Novara from Southern Illinois at even-par to finish out the top five.
Final round play at the Grover Page Classic will begin Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m., followed by a ceremony honoring the 2013 champions. UT Martin will be looking to hoist the tournament trophy for a second consecutive year and third time overall in the last seven years.
“We are in a position where we can make a run at the win tomorrow,” said Carpenter. “I expect us to come out focused and I look for our guys to do well.”