JACKSON, Tenn. – The Tennessee State men’s golf team returned to action and for the first time this spring as part of the Grover Page Classic hosted by UT Martin. The Tigers are currently ninth of 12 teams who are playing at the Par-72, 6,776 yard Jackson Country Club.
TSU found themselves in 11th place after the first round by shooting a 21–over, 309, but was able to shave nine strokes off in the afternoon session and moved up two spots. The Tigers totaled a 33-over 609 and are 15 strokes out of the top eight. Arkansas State leads at 10-under, 566.
Freshman Drew Owens (72-79=151) led the way for Tennessee State through the first 18 with an Even, 72, and was tied for eighth. Owens would fall off the pace with a 7-over, 79 in the afternoon and is tied for 42nd in the field of 73. The Atlanta native tied for fifth on day one with seven birdies and was tied for third best play on the par-5’s, along with teammate Sam Gatlin, by shooting 5-under.
Todd McGill and Jermey Fultz charged back in the second round by matching Owens’ 72, after a slow start in the first. McGill (83-72=155) struggled in the morning with an 11-over, 83, before finding his stroke during the second round of 18 and was guided by his play on the par-3’s. McGill shot Even on the eight holes on day one, tied for second best with eight other golfers, including Fultz and Owens.
Despite hitting just 11 of 28 fairways on the day, Fultz used his recovery game and averaged less than two putts per hole to finish the day at 4-over and heads into the final round tied for 35th. Fultz is nine strokes behind current leader, Andrew Huseman of Arkansas State, who fired a 5-under, 139.
Fultz (76-72=148) registered five birdies on the day, two in the morning and three in the afternoon. During round one, Fultz hit a pitch shot to three feet on the par-5, 15th, and to two feet on the par-5, 17th for his first two birdies of the day.
During the second round, Fultz once again converted on a pitch shot to 3 feet on No. 5. Two holes later, the sophomore hit a 40 yard wedge to a foot setting up a tap in birdie. Fultz found success again on 17 as he hit wedge from 30 yards out to four feet for his final birdie of the day.
Gatlin (78-77=155) highlighted the day during the first round on the par-5, 5th. Gatlin hit a drive in the right rough off the tee box and recovered by hitting a hybrid to 25 feet and made the lengthy putt for eagle. Only two other golfers made more eagles on the day than Gatlin.
Rosario Falzone (84-84=168) posted a pair of non-scoring 84’s on the day and hit 10 fairways and 11 greens. Falzone closed out the first round with a birdie on the par-3, 9th. The freshman hit a 7-iron off the box to a foot for the easy putt.
The Tigers will tee off for the third and final round with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.