Florida Southern Takes the Lead at SSC Men’s Golf Championships Before Rain Suspends Play in Round Two

Jacob Penny with head coach Doug Gordin
Jacob Penny with head coach Doug Gordin

DAVIE – Rain continued to wreak havoc at the Sunshine State Conference Men's Golf Championships, forcing the teams to start and stop all morning long and into the afternoon. After three separate delays, and with only half of round two complete, play was finally suspended late Monday afternoon, but not before Florida Southern had taken the lead by one shot over Barry.

The second round at Grande Oaks Golf Club is scheduled to resume at 7:30 Tuesday morning, followed immediately by round three, which would bring the tournament to a close. If the second round is not completed, however, then the final score will revert back to the last completed round and Florida Tech will be crowned as the SSC champion based on its score from Sunday. By the same token, if the third round cannot be completed, whichever team holds the lead at the end of round two will be declared the champion. More rain is expected Tuesday afternoon, but the forecast is more favorable in the morning.

For the second day in a row, foul weather led to a ragged start, if not in the scoring, then certainly in the pace of play. The earliest groups were able to start their rounds and play a handful of holes, but the final groups, of which Florida Southern was a part, did not get started before the first delay around 8:15. When play resumed at 10:00, it wasn't long before another delay shut things down until early in the afternoon. The third attempt got all of the golfers through six holes, most of them through nine, and roughly a quarter of the field through 12. Michael VanDerLaan was the only Moccasin to make it halfway through, however, with his four teammates only clearing six.

When play was halted for the final time at approximately 1:30, the Moccasins had overtaken Florida Tech and Barry for the lead with their four counters playing six holes apiece at six-under. Those four were John VanDerLaan at -3, John Coultas at -2, Jacob Penny at -1, and Christian Anderson, who was even. Florida Tech, which started the day with a two-shot lead over Barry, had dropped to third place with a +1, and Barry remained in second with a -3. Rollins was still in fourth with six shots separating the Tars from third-place Florida Tech.

Where the Mocs made up ground was the par-5 No. 3 where John VanDerLaan, Penny, and Anderson all came away with birdies, as did Michael VanDerLaan. Barry's four counters were -1, and Florida Tech's were even on that hole.

Of the four golfers who shared the individual lead at the end of the round one, Nova Southeastern's Juan Jose Guerra got off to the best start, recording three birdies on his first six holes (on the back nine) before play was stopped. Coultas, who was playing the front side of the course, birdied two of his first six and was one stroke back in second place with an overall score of five-under-par.

The other two first-round co-leaders, Ali Thurlow and Max O'Hagan of Florida Tech, slipped to third and 10th respectively. Thurlow is one of four golfers now tied for third at -3, three shots behind Guerra and two behind Coultas.

Penny is part of a three-way tie for seventh at -2, and John VanDerLaan is part of a four-way tie for 10th at -1. Anderson is even-par for the tournament and tied for 14th. Michael VanDerLaan, the only Moccasin with at least 27 holes in the book, is tied for 46th at +8.