Delaware, Ohio – A strong first day by sophomore Blake Young propelled the Transylvania men's golf team to a top-five standing on the team leaderboard after the first two rounds of the Gordin Collegiate Classic.
Playing against a majority of teams that placed in the top-10 of last spring's 2016 Division III Men's Golf National Championships, the Pioneers fired a first-round composite score of 303 in Round One. In the second round played immediately afterward at the Delaware Golf Club, the Pioneers improved upon their first round team score by 19 strokes to record a score of 284.
The 284 was the second-best score in the second round, topped only by first-place Huntingdon's 272. Transylvania's 587 through two rounds slots the Pioneers in a three-way tie for fifth place with one round left to play on Monday.
Young's second-round three-under par 68 led the Pioneers with the best single-round score of the day; it also tied for the second-lowest round by any golfer on Sunday.
"I'm pleased with my 68 in the second round and that I was able to contribute to the team's second round even-par," said Young after the day was complete.
Young's second round was highlighted with a string of four consecutive birdies, posting a 31 on the back nine to finish with the three-under par 68.
Junior Clay Church checked in at second on the Pios' daily leaderboard, shooting a 74 in Round One and following that up with a second-round 75 to finish seven-over par on the day. "I was very proud of how the team came back in the second round," said Church.
The Sunday marathon marked another productive day for freshman Spencer McKinney, who shot a combined score of 149. McKinney enjoyed a bright Sunday with 10 birdies over 36 holes, and sits third among his Pioneer peers on the individual leaderboard.
"Playing in now my fourth tournament of the fall season has been a great experience," beamed McKinney. "Getting to play for not only my individual score but for my team has been great."
Senior Rob Canady enjoyed a homecoming as he finished one stroke behind McKinney for the day. "It was really nice to go back to my home state and play," said McKinney of the experience. "It was also nice to have some people from my hometown come and support me and the team."
Junior Carson Wattenbarger traveled with the Pioneers this weekend and shot a personal-best 72 in the second round to finish his Sunday with promise. "I was much more comfortable going into the second round because I knew where I could be aggressive and try to make some birdies," said Wattenbarger. "The career-low 72 was a real confidence booster for me."
The third and final round of the Gordin Collegiate Classic continues on Monday.
For more on Transylvania men's golf, follow their official twitter @TransyGolf