Men’s Golf Third at AutoTrader Classic
DULUTH, Ga. – The Mercer men's golf team used 595 strokes in the opening two rounds of the AutoTrader Classic, wrapping up day one at the Berkeley Hills Country Club in third place on the team leaderboard. Junior James Beale led the way for the Bears, firing scores of 70 (-1) and 74 (+3) to end the day in a tie for fifth place individually.
Mercer will begin tomorrow's round just four strokes behind Georgia State and 16 strokes behind tournament leader Georgia Southern. The Bears are also two strokes in front of next closest team Winthrop and five strokes ahead of No. 7 Georgia.
"The guys played good, but we kind of stubbed our toe at the end," Mercer head coach Steve Bradley said. "The 10th hole is the hardest hole on the course and we made a double and triple on it. Other than that, we were solid this afternoon and if we play well tomorrow can move into second."
Beale's tournament score of 144 places him in a six-way tie for fifth place overall with Chattanooga's Steven Fox, Georgia State's Jonathan Grey, Winthrop's Kamito Hirai, Georgia Southern's Charlie Martin and Georgia's Lee McCoy. Fox is the reigning US Amateur Champion while Grey is currently ranked as the No. 8 player in the country by Golfstat.com.
"Those are guys are good players and so is James," Bradley said. "He shot three-over in the second round with a double on ten that I know he wishes he could have back. He's gone back to just playing golf and let go of self-imposed expectations, and he's playing great right now."
When the tournament resumes on Tuesday, Beale, Fox and Grey will all start six strokes behind the individual leader, South Carolina's Dykes Harbin.
Junior Hans Reimers is tied for 19th place overall after carding scores of 75 and 72 on Monday. Sophomore Trey Rule is tied for 28th overall after shooting 78-71 on Tuesday. Senior Thomas Holmes posted scores of 72 and 78 and is tied for 32nd. Freshman Jeffrey Heinicka, Jr. rounds out Mercer's competitors with a 36-hole total of 151. He is tied for 37th place overall.
Senior John Gregory Joseph recorded scores of 72 and 76 while competing as an individual and is tied for 22nd place overall
"Trey bounced back from a 78 to lead us in the afternoon and Hans also showed a lot of fight," Bradley said. "I'm very proud of our effort."
The final round of the AutoTrader Classic begins at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday.