Dalton State Five Back After First Round Of NAIA National Championship
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - by Erik Simpson
Perfect weather treated the nation's best to a wonderful day on the course as #2 Dalton State posted a team round of (E, 284) on Tuesday and sit in fourth place, trailing #5 Keiser (Fla.), (-5, 279), by five strokes after the first round of the NAIA National Championship at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.
#8 Coastal Georgia and #11 Taylor (Ind.) share second place after rounds of (-4, 280). #4 Wayland Baptist (Texas), (+4, 288), rounds out the Top-5.
Senior Chase Cole would get the Roadrunners started, going 1-under on the front 9 with birdies at Nos.
2 & 6. The turn would not be friendly for Cole as he hit a rough patch on Nos. 11-14 going 5-over. He would recover and close strong with birdies at Nos. 15 & 17 to finish the round with a (+2, 73).
Dalton Johnson was next on the course and started with eight straight scores of par. He would encounter trouble at No. 9, recording a double-bogey to make the turn at (+2). Johnson would light up the back 9, registering four birdies and one bogey to post 1-under, 70.
Sophomore Ben Rebne started off his round much like Johnson, recording par on his first four holes. He would drop a shot at No. 5 and finish out the front 9 with four more pars to make the turn at 1-over. He would hit a stretch on the back 9 where he made bogey on three of four holes, but he too would finish strong with a birdie at No. 17 to card a (+3, 74).
Nicklaus Award semifinalist P.J. Shields would start out hot with birdies at Nos. 1 & 3. He would start to settle in, but bogeys at Nos. 6 & 9 would push him back to (E) as he hit the back 9. He would pick up a stroke at No. 12 with a birdie, but closing bogeys at Nos. 14 & 18 would see him finish at (+1, 72).
All-American S.M. Lee was the last Roadrunner on the course and got off to a quick start with an eagle at No. 2. He would drop a stroke on No. 4, but got it back with a birdie at No. 5. Another birdie at No. 8 would see him start his final nine of the day at 3-under. Lee would get to 4-under after a birdie at No. 13, but, like Shields, he would bogey Nos. 14 & 18 coming in to post (-2, 69).
#2-ranked Dalton State will have a longer wait time tomorrow as they tee off in the afternoon wave on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. (CDT). The Roadrunners will begin their day on No. 10 and will once again be paired with Wayland Baptist (Texas) and Victoria (B.C.).