BUCHANAN, Tenn. – After a one hour delay due to rain, senior James Stepp and freshman Andy Stout posted under-par scores on the first day of the Skyhawk Fall Classic at Paris Landing State Park. The duo have placed Tennessee State in sixth place heading into Tuesday’s final round at the Par-72, 6,685 yard course, which is a part of the Tennessee Golf Trail.
Alabama State (281-278=559) holds the lead after the first two rounds, ahead of host, UT Martin (285-280=565). The Tigers (297-285=582) were led by Stepp, who posted a 3-under on the day, and Stout who shot 2-under. For their efforts, Stepp is currently in eighth, one place ahead of Stout. Alabama State’s Francis Berthiaume and the Skyhawk’s’ Brandon Caballero are tied at the top of the leaderboard at 9-under.
Stepp (72-69=141) opened the day with four birdies and four bogeys through the first 18 holes finishing the morning session at Even-Par. The Cheatham, Tenn. native found a groove as he hit all 18 greens in regulation and shot bogey free golf during the second round for the first time in his career. Stepp was solid all day as he recorded 25 pars, third best total of the tournament.
Stout (72-70=142) finished just behind Stepp in pars made on the day with 23, fifth best total. Stout also registered the fifth highest amount of birdies with eight over the first 36 holes, including recording one-under’s each round on No. 12.
Jermey Fultz continued the Tigers success of par-golf, by leading the field of 53 with 27 on Monday. Fultz (75-71=146) hit 26 of 36 greens on the day and came to life during the second round with four birdies. The freshman helped the Tigers to its best round at the Skyhawk Fall Classic, as he joined Stepp and Stout by shooting under-par during the second round.
Todd McGill (78-75=153) carded the final score in each round for the Tigers. McGill continued the theme of the day for TSU with 24 pars, fourth best amount of the tournament. The sophomore-transfer hit 10 greens through the first 18, while scoring birdies on 15 and 16. McGill increased his greens hit during the afternoon session, finding 13 green, and dropped a 10-foot putt on No. 3 for birdie.
Dallas Hill (79-76=155) did not score for the Tigers in either round of his first competition of the year. Hill hit nine fairways and found nine greens with 33 putts in round one. On No. 4, the senior hit a 6-iron long, but was able to make an up-and-down by draining a tough 10-footer for par.
During the second round, Hill hit nine fairways, 10 greens and used 31 putts as he cut three strokes off his previous round. Hill was able to save par on No. 10 as he punched out from the trees for an up-and-down. On the par-4, 14th, the Nashville product hit a 3-wood from the tee box, to set up a pitching wedge from 134 yards out. The second shot stopped 15 feet from the pin, setting up a putt for his lone birdie of the day. Like McGill, Hill carded 24 pars on the day, tying for the fourth best total.
Rain threatens the final round of the tournament, which is to begin at 8:30am on Tuesday morning.