March 25, 2014

College golf: Roadrunners, Jones second in Hartwell

As wind swept across north Georgia early Tuesday morning, Dalton State College men’s golf coach Ben Rickett didn’t mind one bit.

The Roadrunners were sitting in a tie for seventh heading into the second and final round of the Emmanuel Col-lege Invitational at Cat-eechee Golf Club in Hartwell, eight strokes behind tournament lead-er and No. 9-ranked Southern Wesleyan.

Rickett knew there would be a lot of movement on the leaderboard.

Dalton State’s score for Tuesday’s round, 312, was three shots worse than on Monday, but it was better than all but one other team. The Roadrunners moved far up the leaderboard and finished four shots behind host and winner Emmanuel and one stroke ahead of the College of Coastal Georgia with a two-round total of 621.

“We knew before we teed off this morning that the wind was between 15 and 25 (mph), so we were prepared and knew it was going to be a challenging day,” Rickett said.

“They are the kind of conditions that you almost want to see if you are going to try and make up ground. The guys did a fantastic job of controlling their game and not letting any mistake build on another.”

The difference in scoring was considerable from Monday to Tuesday. Southern Wesleyan led after a 301 on the opening day and ballooned to a 327 to finish tied for fourth. Truett-McConnell went from a 303 to a 334.

Dalton State’s Chase Jones shot a second straight 76 to finish at 8-over-par 152 and was tied with three others for second behind Emmanuel’s Joel Sawyer, who finished at 4 over for the tournament.

“Chase did a great job,” Rickett said. “The great thing with Chase is that he is figuring out how to use the distance that he has to his advantage. He did a great job today. Making a lot of pars in this wind was high-quality play.”

Other scorers for Dalton State in Tuesday’s round were Anthony D’Angelo, who tied for seventh with a 154, Tobias Ebner (158) and Levi Nix (158). Tyler Mitchell also competed and finished with a 161.

“The consistency of these guys where you aren’t getting the huge numbers from anyone has been a big plus,” Rickett said. “I am starting to see each guy has contributed and played a huge part of the successes, the ups and the downs.”

The Roadrunners will compete in the North Georgia Chick-fil-A Invitational beginning on Monday in Dahlonega.

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