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SNOW HILL — Tied for second place is a favorable spot for the Barton College men’s golf team to be entering Tuesday’s third — and final — round of the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas Men’s Championship at demanding Cutter Creek Golf Club in Greene County.
But 12 shots behind the front-runner and being deadlocked with the nation’s No. 8-ranked Division II squad (Limestone College) represents a rugged 18-hole assignment for the Bulldogs of head coach Ashley Leonard following Monday’s round of 299 for their low four individuals in windy conditions over the par-72, 7,200-yard Cutter Creek layout.
Barton owns a 591 total after two rounds, while Limestone posted a 294-297—591. Out front is North Greenville (South Carolina) University at 288-291—579. The Crusaders’ 3-over-par effort represented Monday’s low round.
Completing the top five are King (Tennessee) University in fourth at 292-303—595 and Southern Wesleyan (South Carolina) University and Belmont Abbey deadlocked for fifth at 598. Southern Wesleyan faded to a 313 after firing a torrid 285 Sunday.
The Bulldogs find themselves in position of probably needing to win the conference tournament to earn a spot in the Southeast Regional. Individual regional hopes are not promising with Barton’s top performer, junior Justin Plane, occupying the No. 10 spot in the 40-player field.
Plane paced the Bulldogs on Monday with a 1-over 73, while junior Scott Pechacek and Bryson Boyette, a freshman from Fike High, each shot a 75. Pechacek and Boyette are deadlocked for 11th with 148 totals.
Senior Travis Broome fashioned a 76 and is situated 13th at 149. However, senior Derek Hamm struggled to an 82 after Sunday’s 73 and, with a 155 total, owns a share of the No. 31 spot.
North Greenville’s Evan Gfeller and Seth Robertson stand No. 1 and 2, respectively, at 72-69—141 and 72-70—142. Robertson is tied with first-round leader Eric Shea of Southern Wesleyan. Shea followed Sunday’s sizzling 66 with a 76. Feller carded Monday’s low score of 3-under 69.