MELBOURNE – With matching scores for the second day in a row, and matching eagles on the same hole Monday, John VanDerLaan and John Coultas each shot an even-par 72 as 4th-ranked Florida Southern ended the second round tied for third place at Sunshine State Conference Men's Golf Championships.
Coultas had a par and a bogey on the first two holes and later had a bogey and birdie on 5 and 6. Still at one-over after eight holes, Coultas hit his eagle shot on the par-5 No. 9, moving his score to one-under par. He reached two-under after a birdie on 14 before bogeys on 16 and 18 caused him to finish at even-par 72 for the day.
VanDerLaan's day started with a birdie on the par-5 No. 1, but he followed that with a double-bogey on 2. He erased that however with his eagle on the next par-5 at Duran Golf Club, needing just three shots on No. 9. That allowed him to make the turn even, and he remained that way through the back nine with two more birdies, a double-bogey and six pars.
Florida Southern's third counter was Michael VanDerLaan with a 74, and he nearly gave the Moccasins another 72. Holding an even-par score after 16 holes following a stretch of eight consecutive pars or birdies, his round ended with bogeys on 17 and 18, pushing him back to two-over for the round.
Chase Ibbotson completed the Moccasin counters with a 75, and he too came very close to another 72. Ibbotson had 15 holes Monday with either a birdie or par, but a triple-bogey on No. 8 was damaging. He came back from that, however, with a birdie on 9 and eight straight pars before a round-ending bogey on 18.
Christian Anderson, who led Florida Southern with a 69 in the first round, shot a 77 on Monday. He made the turn at one-over but had two bogeys and a double on the back nine.
After a first round that saw the best average score in the SSC Men's Championships in the last 27 years, the scores took a step back in round two. The top five teams going into play Monday saw their scores increase by an average of more than eight shots, and that was even with Saint Leo's score remaining the same (287). Barry, which shot a 280 in the first round to take the lead, again had the best score in round two with a two-under par 286, giving the 2nd-ranked Buccaneers a 10-under par 566 for the tournament. That was fueled mostly by individual leader Kyle Brey, who had a 69 for the second day in a row. Niclas Weiland's 71 was the Bucs' second counting score.
Eighth-ranked Florida Tech took over second place from Florida Southern and 5th-ranked Nova Southeastern. The Panthers used a pair of 70s to post a team score of 289 but still fell from four shots off the pace to seven back with a 573, even while moving up two spots in the standings.
Florida Southern and Saint Leo are still under par overall at -2 (574), putting both schools eight shots behind Barry in a tie for third. Lynn, which is ranked No. 3 in the country, is now in fifth place, only nine shots behind, while Nova Southeastern fell from a second-place tie down to sixth, 12 shots off the pace.
Brey's two rounds of 69 give him a 2-stroke lead in the individual race with a six-under par 138. Florida Tech's Han Xue has a 140 with twin scores of 70, and Coultas and John VanDerLaan are two of the six golfers in the field that are tied for third with scores of 142 (-2).
Michael VanDerLaan and Anderson are tied for 21st at 147, and Ibbotson is tied for 31st with a 149.
The final round of the SSC Championships begins Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. at Duran Golf Club.