KANNAPOLIS, NC. - The North Carolina men's golf team fired a 2-under-par 282 in the first round of the Irish Creek Collegiate and a 1-over-par 285 in the second round to total a 1-under-par 567 and finish atop the leaderboard. Senior Michael McGowan led the Tar Heels as he had two rounds of 2-under-par 69 on Saturday. The Tar Heels finished the first round at 2-under and in first place and didn't give up their lead throughout the entire day.
McGowan, from Southern Pines, N.C., is in 3rd place in the individual race, two strokes behind the leader. Andy Sajevic, a junior from Fremont, Neb., shot an even-par 71 for the first round. In the afternoon round Sajevic notched four birdies, but also carded a triple-bogey to end 1-under par for the round and for the tournament, ending his day tied for 7th. Bailey Patrick caught fire early in the day scoring a birdie on his first four holes. Patrick, a sophomore from Charlotte, N.C., finished his first round 1-under-par and ended his day at even-par 142 and is tied for 10th. Sophomore Brandon Dalinka, from Newtown, Pa., scored a 1-over 72 in the morning and a 3-over 74 in the afternoon for a combined 4-over for the tournament. Dalinka currently sits tied for 27th. Freshman Keagan Cummings, from Dublin, Ireland, recorded a 2-over-par 73 and a 4-over-par 75 to finish tied for 41st at 6-over-par. Senior Patrick Barrett is playing as an individual in the Irish Creek Collegiate and shot 6-over-par for both rounds. The Pinehurst, N.C. native is tied for 73rd at 12-over 154.
Head Coach Andrew Sapp reflected on his team's performance on Saturday, "We are very pleased to be in position to win this tournament going in the final round. It will take 4 very good scores with the teams close to us coming off of good rounds. It is great to have three guys at even par or better. Hopefully we can count 4 scores under par tomorrow."
After two rounds of play the closest team to the Tar Heels is Davidson College hitting a combined 3-over-par 571 and 4 strokes behind North Carolina. Tied for third place is North Carolina State and UNCW, each at 4-over-par 572. North Carolina State made the biggest leap of all teams by improving their first round score by 12 strokes to shoot a 280 4-under-par in the second round. Rounding out the top 5 is Kennesaw State at 10-over-par. Akron is in sixth at 581, Marshall seventh at 583, Kansas eighth at 584, Charlotte ninth at 585, and Virginia Commonwealth in tenth at 588.
Richard Fountain of Davidson College fired a combined two round score of 6-under 136 to grab the individual lead heading into the final round. Jimmy Beck of Kennesaw State is one stroke back at 5-under for the tournament. North Carolina's McGowan is in third at 4-under and one stroke behind him is North Carolina State's Albin Choi. Tied for fifth is a pair of teammates from UNCW, Thomas Bass and Payne McLeod. They sit at 2-under-par 140 for the tournament. Three players are tied for seventh at 1-under-par, including Andy Sajevic. Along with Sajevic are Hans Reimers from Mercer and Franco Castro from Charlotte.
The last round of the 54-hole event will be played Sunday at The Club at Irish Creek which features a par 71, 7,099-yard layout. Live scoring is available on Golfstat.com and there will be a 8:30am shotgun start.