Men's Golf Preview: Mocs Head to S.C. on Monday

(Photo Credit: Stuart Thomas returns to the starting lineup as the Chattanooga Mocs open play Monday at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.---The Chattanooga Mocs men’s golf team is back on the course Monday at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate. The 54-hole event opens with 36 on Monday, March 10, and ends with a final 18 on Tuesday.

There are nine top 100 programs in the 18-team field.

“This tournament gives us a chance to do two things,” said Head Coach Mark Guhne. “One, with 18 teams, a strong finish really helps us get our record going in the right direction.

“Two, this is a good field, Guhne continued. “A great showing provides a strong boost to our ranking.”

The field is highlighted by No. 7 Virginia along with two schools just outside the top 25 in No. 26 South Carolina and No. 31 Clemson.

Freshman Stuart Thomas (Knoxville, Tenn.) captured the fifth spot in the lineup after a two-day qualifying event prior to leaving for Aiken. Ewan Scott (St. Andrews, Scotland), Davis Bunn (Knoxville, Tenn.), Liam Johnston (Dumfries, Scotland) and Chris Robb (Aberdeenshire, Scotland) join him for the challenging test of Palmetto Golf Club.

TOURNAMENT FIELD (Top 100 Rankings)
Akron, (31) Clemson, (66) Chattanooga, Elon, Francis Marion, Furman, (56) Georgia State, (69) GRU Augusta, (36) Liberty, Maryland, Nebraska, (51) N.C. State, Penn, (89) Presbyterian, (26) South Carolina, South Carolina Aiken, (7) Virginia, Wofford

Liam Johnston (73.00), Ewan Scott (74.15), Davis Bunn (74.25), Chris Robb (74.26), Stuart Thomas (75.29)

Ewan Scott led Chattanooga tying for 14th at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate. Scott shot 75-71-73 for a three-day total of 219. The team ended up ninth at 897.

The Mocs are off until March 22-23 before heading to a familiar site, the Linger Longer Invitational. The two-day, 54-hole event is played on the Great Waters Course in Eatonton, Ga.

• Chattanooga has an opportunity to enhance its postseason chances in two ways this week. One, is to get on the correct side of the .500 rule against the 18-team field. It currently has a mark of 42-50. Two, with eight other top 100 programs, including No. 7 Virginia, a top finish would boost the current rank of No. 66.

Stuart Thomas returns to the lineup winning a two-day qualifying effort for the fifth spot in the lineup. It’s his third tournament as a starter, first since the Brickyard Collegiate in early October.

Ewan Scott is certainly at the forefront for the Mocs. He is averaging 72.08 strokes per round over his last 12 (216 holes).

• Scott has three top 15s, two top 10’s, in his last four starts.

Davis Bunn is mirroring his 2012-13 season. After a slow start in the fall, he posted his best tournament to date shooting -1 (215) finishing tied for 11th at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate with solid rounds of 72, 72 and 71. Bunn’s fall average over past two seasons: 75.52. His spring: 73.33.

• Only Scott and Bunn have started all seven team tournaments thus far.

• Chattanooga has four par or better rounds on the season after the second round 288 in Mobile.

Liam Johnston leads the team with eight par or better cards in just 14 rounds. Bunn and Scott each have seven.

• Johnston also boasts the squad’s best scoring average (73.00) while also pacing it in par 3 scoring (3.13), birdies (3.29/rd), fewest bogeys (2.64) and par or better hole percentage (80.2%).

Benni Weilguni has a team-high four eagles. Johnston is right behind with three.

Brooks Thomas has the low average for fewest others (scores of double bogey or higher) at 0.71 (10 total). Scott (0.85) is second but has six (0.43) in last 14 cards after 11 in his first six.

Wes Gosselin is the team leader in par 4 scoring (4.11).

Chris Robb’s 4.75 is the top mark in an impressive team effort on par 5’s. Chattanooga is -64 on Par 5s, a 4.79 average on the counting cards. The team season best is -17 opening the spring at Mobile. It has been -10 or better three times so far.

• The squad’s best performance of the fall came at the Collegiate. It finished fourth shooting nine-under par 855 powered by a 15-under second round tally of 273.

• It’s the first time the team has ended a tournament below par since winning the 2012 NCAA Bowling Green Regional with a -5 total (859). It’s the lowest team total since turning in 855 (+15) winning the 2010 Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate.

• The Mocs’ 273 (-15) in the second round was the best score since an identical mark at Forest Hills Golf Club in April 2009 opening the Administaff ASU Invitational. is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs.  The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page or on Twitter.  Find out how to join the UTC Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.

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