EATONTON, GA – Fourth-ranked Florida Southern shot a final-round 304 on Tuesday to finish one shot ahead of top-ranked Barry and a group of other top-25 teams, and finished the Bobcat Invitational as runner-up to No. 2 Lynn by nine shots.
With Christian Anderson (11th), Michael VanDerLaan (14th), and Johnny Tucker (17th) all in the top-20, and Max Coutsolioutsos and Chase Ibbotson not far behind in 22nd and 28th, the Moccasins had the most balanced team in the field from one through five in their lineup. The Knights had four in the top-15, but their number five was 10 spots behind Ibbotson, and no other number five finished better than a tie for 50th.
Anderson led the Mocs with a three-over par 73 in the final round and a 215 (+5) overall, but only six total strokes separated the five Moccasins in the tournament. VanDerLaan and Tucker led the team in scoring in the first round, Coutsolioutsos did so in the second, and Anderson did that on Tuesday.
VanDerLaan had four of Florida Southern's seven birdies in the final round, but all four of the counters had to take a double-bogey on different holes, and they ranged from par-3 to par-5. That came too after they got off to a good start and were playing even-par as a team through the first few holes in the morning. Anderson and Tucker were still even through seven holes, VanDerLaan and Coutsolioutsos were even though four, and Ibbotson through three. Anderson eventually shot a 73, and VanDerLaan a 76, though VanDerLaan was even again through his final eight holes.
The Moccasins' other two counters were Ibbotson with a 77 and Tucker with a 78. Coutsolioutsos shot a 79.
Only four golfers in the field of 80 broke par Tuesday, and one of those was medalist Morgan Egloff of Rollins with a two-under-par 68. That vaulted him all the way from a tie for 11th up to a two-stroke victory over Barry's Jorge Garcia and Lynn's Giovanni Manzoni. Egloff was also the only golfer to break par for the tournament with a 208 (-2). The average score for the final round was nearly 78, and the tournament average was more than +14.
Plus-14 also happened to be Lynn's winning score after rounds of 283 (+3), 274 (-6) and 297 (+17). Lynn, Rollins and West Florida were the only teams to break 300 on Tuesday, with Lynn and Rollins both shooting a 297, and West Florida a 299. Even then, neither the Tars nor Argonauts could catch Florida Southern.
The Moccasins finished at +23, nine shots behind Lynn, one ahead of Barry, seven ahead of Rollins, and nine in front of No. 3 West Florida. Nova Southeastern, which came into play ranked No. 9, finished in sixth place and was 13 shots behind Florida Southern.
The Moccasins return to action the first week of April when they play in the Argonaut Invitational hosted by West Florida on April 1 and 2. That will be their final tournament of the regular season.