September 9, 2013

PINEVILLE, Ky. – All eight University of Tennessee at Martin golfers placed in the top-24 today as the Skyhawks hold a 16-shot lead after two rounds of play at the Wasioto Winds Fall Kickoff tournament, hosted by Morehead State.

UT Martin carded a 568 in the first two rounds, firing a 280 (-8) in the first round this morning followed by an even-par 288 in the second round this afternoon. As a team, the Skyhawks have tallied two eagles, 31 birdies and 115 pars so far through 36 holes. The Skyhawks lead fellow Ohio Valley Conference member Murray State by eight strokes heading into Tuesday’s final round.

“Our first round usually isn’t very good but we changed that today,” UT Martin head coach Jerry Carpenter said. “It was hot outside and I think our guys may have gotten tired in the last 18 holes but we shot even par and I will take that anytime, anywhere on any golf course.”

Senior Tyler Shellnut led the way for UT Martin, shooting a 137 (-7) to sit in second place out of 44 golfers. Shellnut shot a 66 in the first round to lead all golfers before turning in a 71 in the second round. The Franklin, Tenn. native recorded 12 birdies today to pace the Skyhawks.

Returning All-Ohio Valley Conference performer Brendon Caballero secured a tournament-high 28 pars on his way to a 2-under performance (142; 72, 70), which ties him for fifth place. Ben Reeves (72, 74; 146) and John Michael Sisinni (70, 76, 146) are sitting in a tie for ninth place at 2-over while Tyler Guy (78, 73; 151) is in a tie for 22nd place with his score of 7-over.

Competing as an individual, Clay Harbin fired a one-under par 143 (72, 71) to earn a tie for seventh place through two rounds. Freshmen Austin Swafford (73, 76; 149) and Gavin Shellnut (79, 73; 152) also made impressive debuts, earning a tie for 16th place and 24th place, respectively.

“This is a good tournament to get us started,” Carpenter said. “It’s not a big field but you have to play golf regardless and we are playing the best we can play. I knew we were going to come out and do well – our last two qualifying rounds were off the charts. Our guys have worked hard and have done a lot of work on their own at our golf facility. There’s no doubt that is a huge key to our success.”

UT Martin will look to capture the tournament championship when the third and final round opens on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 9 a.m.