Seymour, IN – The Transylvania men's golf team finds themselves in a familiar position after the first two rounds of the 2016 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Golf Championships held at the Shadowood Golf Course.
Trailing Defiance College by two strokes after Saturday's Round One competition in Seymour, Indiana, the Pioneers responded on Sunday with a resounding collective round to climb atop the team leaderboard after two rounds of action.
Transylvania men's golf coach Brian Lane invoked the vernacular of his winter season sport he coaches to explain his thoughts on his team's progress: "I am pleased that we are able to head to next weekend's final two rounds with a lead, but we understand that it really is only halftime," said Lane. "I know our guys will have a solid week of practice to be as ready as we can be. We should have some good vibes about Honeywell Golf Club after playing so well up there a couple of weeks ago in winning the Manchester Invitational."
The Pioneers marched out on Sunday morning and shot a 12-over par 300; Senior Nick McCarthy led the way with a one-over par 73 to guide the Pioneers to carding a 300 for the day. McCarthy maintained his second-place standing on the overall individual leaderboard following a Round One 3-under par 69 to finish with a 69+73=142 after 36 holes of tournament competition.
Jeff Meade matched McCarthy with a one-over par 73, following a two-over 74 in Round One on Saturday to finish with a 3-over 147, slotting him in fifth place on the individual leaderboard.
Casey Gilligan enjoyed a consistent weekend, shooting a 76+77=153, finishing the first weekend of tournament action in a tie for 11th place on the individual leaderboard. Zach Treilobs improved upon his first round 80 with a Round Two five-over 77. Hunter Cloud shot a 78+80=158 to round out the performance for the Pioneers.
The Pioneers followed their Round One team score of 297 with a 300 to lead the eight-team field by two strokes with a 597 score, or +21. Hanover trails the Pioneers by two strokes after shooting a 302+297=599, while the Round One leader Defiance College dropped 12 strokes off of their Saturday score. Mt. St. Joseph trails Transylvania by four strokes after two rounds as the Lions sit third on the team leaderboard, while the Yellow Jackets sit on the heels in fourth place, one stroke behind Mt. St. Joseph.
"It was great to see Nick (McCarthy) battle with the first round leader head-to-head all day," added Lane. "Nick was able to stay within striking distance of (Defiance College's first-place golfer) Alex Miday going into next weekend. Jeff hit some terrific shots and Casey got up and down on some holes when our team really needed it."
The four-round tournament shifts to the Honeywell Golf Club in Wabash, Indiana near the home of HCAC member Manchester University, where the Pioneers captured the Manchester Invitational last weekend. Rounds Three and Four are scheduled to begin next Saturday.
On the line for the Pioneers lies the chance to win what would be their 10th straight HCAC men's golf championship. While the pressure may be high, the Round Two turnaround signals a resilient and focused team ready to perform at a higher level.
"It is set up to be an exciting two days next weekend in Wabash," finished Lane.
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