SAVANNAH, Ga. - No. 24-ranked Valdosta State University shot rounds of 295 and 292 to take a 10-stroke lead over No. 8-ranked Lander and Newberry on Monday after the first day of the 2009 AASU/Southbridge Pirate Invitational at Southbridge Golf Club.
The Blazers finished the day with an 11-over-par 587 total, 10 strokes ahead of the Bearcats and Newberry, who are tied for second after a 21-over-par 597 total. Host Armstrong Atlantic State rebounded from a first-round 306 to shoot a second-round 292 and is fourth with a 22-over-par 598 total. No. 6 GCSU rounds out the top five with a 25-over-par 601 total.
Conference Carolinas foes Coker (606, +30) and Mount Olive (513, +37) are next at sixth and seventh place, respectively. UNC Pembroke (615, +39), playing with just four players, is eighth, followed by Georgia Southwestern (616, +40), Limestone (630, +54), Queens University of Charlotte (640, +64) and Savannah State (654, +78).
All-American Brent Witcher of Valdosta State was the only player to go under par in both rounds and leads individually after rounds of 69 and 70 on Monday for a five-under-par 139 total, three strokes ahead of GCSU's Niclas Johannson, who shot rounds of 69 and 73 for a two-under-par 142 first-day total. AASU All-American Chris Wolfe is tied for third after rounds of 74 and 70 on Monday for an even-par 144 total, along with Newberry's Daniel Stanley, who carded rounds of 71 and 73. Lander's Billy Belair rounds out the individual top five with a two-over-par 146 total after shooting rounds of 76 and 70.
For the host Pirates, sophomore Parker Gordon is tied for sixth individually after carding rounds of 75 and 72 for a three-over-par 147, giving AASU two players in the top 10. Freshman Matthew Motes is tied for 24th after rounds of 78 and 75 on Monday, carding an eight-over-par 153 total. Junior Jon Wingate is tied for 34th after rounds of 80 and 75 with an 11-over-par 155 total, while senior Justin Smith is tied for 38th after rounds of 79 and 78 for a 13-over-par 157 total.
Playing as individuals, David Patterson (80-74=154, +10) and Mark Rocker (73-81=154, +10) are tied for 30th for the Pirates. Dustin Allen is tied for 46th with a 160 total after rounds of 87 and 73.
The tournament concludes with a single round of 18 holes on Tuesday, with tee times beginning at 7:30 a.m. AASU will tee off beginning at 9:18 a.m., with the leaders teeing off beginning at 10:03 a.m.