PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – With junior John VanDerLaan shooting a two-under par 70 in the second round after first-round scores of 73 from VanDerLaan and John Coultas, 2nd-ranked Florida Southern finished the first day of the weather-delayed GolfRank Invitational in sixth place with a team score of 589 (+13).
Originally scheduled for October 10-11 at PGA National, the GolfRank Invitational was pushed back two weeks by Hurricane Matthew with a revamped field that featured six schools from the Sunshine State Conference, two out-of-state NCAA Division II teams, and two local NAIA programs. Participating as part of the 10-team field were top-ranked Lynn, #2 Florida Southern, #3 Barry, and host school #5 Nova Southeastern. Queens (NC) and Wilmington (DE) were among the schools receiving votes in last week's GolfWeek National Poll. Keiser and Johnson &Wales were each ranked in the top-10 of the national NAIA poll.
Halfway through the day Lynn had a four-shot lead over Barry through 18 holes, with the Knights turning in an eight-under par 280 thanks in large part to a pair of 67's from Felix Kvarnstrom and Andreas Tancred, who were tied for the individual lead at that point with Barry's Niclas Weiland. Mateo Gomez was also under par for the Knights in round one with a 70, giving them three of the top four golfers in the round.
Florida Southern was led by VanDerLaan and Coultas who each opened the day with a 73. Sophomore Christian Anderson was one stroke behind them with a 74, while freshman Chase Ibbotson and junior Grant Lovell completed the Mocs' lineup with a pair of 76's. Sophomore Michael VanDerLaan, who was playing as an individual, shot a 77.
Those scores gave Florida Southern a 296, which was tied for sixth place with Nova Southeastern, and just one shot behind Queens University of Charlotte.
In round two, VanDerLaan improved his score by three strokes to move into a tie for seventh place with three other golfers at one-under par 143. Coultas shot a 72 in the second round and was tied for 14th place with a one-over par 145. With Ibbotson at 75 and Anderson at 76, the Moccasins were able to improve their team score by three shots with a 293, which got them ahead of Queens and within 12 shots of the lead, though now one shot behind Nova.
The Mocs' second-round 293 was four better than what Lynn shot in the afternoon, as the Knights lost their 4-shot lead over Barry and fell into a first-place tie with the Buccaneers. Both teams were at +1 at the end of the day, with Johnson & Wales six shots back at +7.
The fourth through seventh place teams were separated by five shots, with Keiser at +11, Nova Southeastern at +12, Florida Southern at +13, and Palm Beach Atlantic at +16.
Of the three players who had been tied for the individual lead in round one, only Weiland remained first at the end of round two. He followed his first-round 67 with a 72, leaving him at -5 (139) and one stroke ahead of Nova Southeastern's Finlay Mason and Keiser's Cameron Moralee. Three golfers were tied for fourth at -2 (142), just ahead of VanDerLaan and three others at -1 (143).
In addition to VanDerLaan and Coultas in the top-20, the Moccasins also had Anderson tied for 23rd with a 150, Ibbotson tied for 29th with a 151, and Lovell tied for 49th with a 158. Michael VanDerLaan was tied for 37th as an individual after posting his second 77 of the day for a total score of 154.
The final round is Tuesday at PGA National's Fazio Course.