SOUTHPORT, North Carolina – Freshman Thomas Eldridge remains one shot out of the individual lead and UNCW trails frontrunner College of Charleston by 13 strokes in the team competition heading into Sunday's final round of the 2015 Colonial Athletic Association Men's Golf Championship at St. James Plantation.
The Seahawks shaved three strokes off their opening-round total with a 10-over par 298 on Saturday and feature a 301-298=599 score after two rounds. The Cougars top the nine-team field with a 293-293=586 total, followed by James Madison (302-296=598) and UNCW.
The Seahawks, playing three freshmen, one sophomore and one junior, are 23-over for the tournament on the Par 72, 6,784-yard Founders Course layout.
"We had moments of great golf out there today, but unfortunately we just couldn't get hot," said seventh-year UNCW Head Coach Matt Clark. "We haven't had a stretch where all five guys have played great…we've struggled with that all year long.
"It's going to happen, though. We have an unbelievable challenge ahead of us tomorrow and we're looking forward to getting hot and competing on the final day of the CAA Championship with Seahawk pride."
Eldridge, a graduate of Millbrook High School in Raleigh, shot an even par 72 on Saturday to go along with his opening-round 1-under for a two-day total of 71-72=143. Charleston's John Jonas also shot par on Saturday and leads the 44-man field with a 70-72=142 card and his teammate, Josh Lorenzetti, stands third at 71-74=145.
The emerging Eldridge is tied for second with 24 pars in the two rounds. He has played par 4 holes at even par through 36 holes. "We're excited about Thomas playing his way into contention for the individual title. It's great to see his hard work pay off."
Freshman Patrick Cover bounced back from a 6-over 78 on opening day to shoot a 1-over 73 on Saturday. Another newcomer, Wilmington product Ross Robinson, shot a 4-over 76 to be included in the team score.
Overall, the tournament scores improved over the first round when the players averaged 78.47. In Saturday's second round, the competing teams averaged 75.20 strokes.
Sparked by Jonathan Dilanni's tournament-low 69, Elon had the low score of the day with a 2-over 290. Dilanni turned in one of two sub-par rounds, joined by Drexel's Christopher Crawford's 2-under 70.
The teams tee off at 8 a.m. Sunday for the final round of the event, which has been staged since 1984. UNCW has won the CAA Championship five times (2004, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013).
Second-Round CAA Chip-Ins: Junior David Kostyal leads the tournament field with a 4.50 average and -4-under score on par 5's…Thomas Eldridge, David Kostyal and Patrick Cover each have seven birdies in the event…With 30 birdies, UNCW ranks second only behind Charleston (32)…There have been five eagles over the first two days.
CAA Men's Golf Championships | Second Round Results – April 25, 2015
Team Standings: 1. Charleston, 293-293=587; 2. James Madison, 302-296=598; 3. UNCW, 301-298=599; T4. William & Mary, 304-298=602; T4. Delaware, 306-296=602; T4. Elon 312-290=602; 7. Drexel, 313-296=609; 8. Towson, 311-306=617; 9. Hofstra, 344-301=645.
Individual Standings (Top 10): 1. John Jonas, Charleston, 70-72=142; 2. Thomas Eldridge, UNCW, 71-72=143; 3. Josh Lorenzetti, Charleston, 71-74=145; T4. Jonathan Dilanni, Elon, 77-69=146; T4. Kyle Martin, Delaware, 73-73=146; T6. Christopher Crawford, Drexel, 77-70=147; T6. Blaine Lafferty, Delaware, 72-75=147; T6. Jon Weiss, James Madison, 74-73=147; T9. Austin Morrison, William & Mary, 72-76=148; T9. Davis Morrison, William & Mary, 76-72=148; 11. William Rainey, Charleston, 76-73=149.