By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
OLD HICKORY, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech men's golf team took a strong swing in the opening two rounds at its final regular-season tournament of the year, leading the Big Blue Intercollegiate at Presidents Reserve at Hermitage Golf Club Monday.
The Golden Eagles led the 14-team field by six strokes head into the third and final round Tuesday. Tech shot a blistering 283 over the opening 18 holes, ranking just a shot behind Wright State. The purple and gold then unleashed its lowest score since 2015 in round two, torching the scoreboard for a 4-under 280 and overall total of 563.
Playing as an individual, true freshman Bryce Beeler paced the entire field of 87 golfers with a 5-under 137. The youngster ripped off a season-low, 3-under 68 to kick off the event. He followed it up with a 2-under 69 over the final 18 holes of the day. The Maryville native became the first Golden Eagle rookie to card back-to-back sub-70 rounds since Charles Seals in his fourth place finish at the 2017 OVC Championships.
Helping lead the team's quest for an overall title was the steely veteran Matthew Giles, who put forth a 2-under 140. Tying for fourth place, the senior turned in a first-round 73. He turned things up a notch for round two, blasting a career-low, 4-under 67.
A pair of sophomores gave valiantly to the Tech effort, as Will Brooks and Bracton Womack both tied for seventh with scores of 141. Each had differing rounds, starting with a career performance from Womack. The McMinnville rookie fired a personal-low 5-under 66 to open the day. He cooled off a bit in round two, but still posted a 75 to keep his team in contention.
Brooks got off to a slower start, scoring a solid 74. The Cookeville product followed it up by blistering his second 67 of the year, this one to make him 1-under par headed into the final round. Also tied for seventh with his teammates was junior Cameron Yeary. The Knoxville original showed great consistency on the day, shooting a 1-under 70 before turning in an even-par 71.
Next on the leaderboard for the Golden Eagles was freshman individual Chance Taylor. The Tech rookie tied for 53rd overall, listing a 151 (75-76). Fellow first-year Cade Puryear, also playing as an individual, completed play with a 153 behind rounds of 75 and 78. Junior Dabney Dickenson rounded out the Tech lineup, posting a 153 (75-78) as well.
The Golden Eagles will look to claim their second tournament title of the year Tuesday morning, kicking off action with an 8:00 a.m. CT shotgun start.
Photo by Daniel Hooker