No. 5 men’s, No. 12 women’s golf finish in top 10

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 Emma Tallon

The Florida Southern men’s golf program finished second in their third tournament this season last week at the Newberry Invitational held at The Ocean Course in Kiwah Island, South Carolina on Feb. 18-19. 

Southern finished strong on day one with 568 points, beating Lynn and Florida Tech to first place after two rounds. Senior Michael VanDerLaan took the lead with a seven-under-par 65 which included seven birdies, making it the best individual round shot by a Moc.

Head coach Lee White said that the team has been working hard during the season as well as the off-season to mentally prepare for these upcoming tournaments. 

The extreme weather on day two of the tournament posed as a challenge for the Mocs, but the rain did not stop freshman Max Coutsolioutsos, from scoring an 80 and finishing with a total of 222 (+6). Florida Southern finished day two in second place with 898 points, followed by Florida Tech (3rd place) and Lynn University (4th place). 

“We have a lot to work on, but also we have the talent to compete with the best teams in the nation,” VanDerLaan said after the tournament. 

“Finishing in second place was a great experience for the guys and we look forward to the next few weeks,” White said. 

The Mocs will play again at the Southeastern Collegiate on March 10 at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta, Georgia.

The Florida Southern women’s program also played in their third tournament of the season, finishing in eighth place at the Lady Moc Classic at Grasslands Golf & Country Club in Lakeland, Florida on Feb. 18-19. 

Senior Amanda Gartrell opened day one with shooting a 70, followed by senior Tori Higgins and sophomore Shelby Lewis shooting a pair of 77s. The Mocs showed room to improve on day two after finishing the first day in eleventh place out of seventeen teams with 607 points. 

Southern came back strong on the second day of the tournament and earned their best scores so far for the season. Gartrell lead the Mocs with a tie for ninth place overall with 220 points total. 

“I believe that this finish will be the fire needed to push us even further,” Gartrell said.

Florida Southern finished day two of the tournament in eighth place out of seventeen teams with 906 points. This moved them up three spots in the final standing and one shot ahead of No. 5 Rollins. 

The Mocs will be back in action on March 11-12 to play at the Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational at the Grasslands Golf & Country Club in Lakeland, Florida, before going to play at the Barry Invitational on March 25. 

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