Mocs Men’s Golf Surges In Round 2 Of Southern Conference Championships

  • Monday, April 22, 2024
John Houk led a record-setting Chattanooga Mocs effort in Monday’s second round at the Southern Conference Championships at Reynolds Lake Oconee
John Houk led a record-setting Chattanooga Mocs effort in Monday’s second round at the Southern Conference Championships at Reynolds Lake Oconee
photo by UTC Sports
The Chattanooga Mocs men's golf team is still in second after 36 holes of the Southern Conference Championships. But's the Mocs shaved the ETSU lead by more than half to four shots. Today's 14-under 274 on the Oconee Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee is the program's best in the postseason, and it provided quite a comeback.
 
The Bucs got off to a great start with seven birdies in the first three holes to push a 9-stroke lead to 15. Chattanooga continued to battle getting sparked by an eagle and three birdies on the par 5 seventh.
The Mocs turned at 6 under slicing the advantage to seven.
 
A clean sweep of birdies on the par 5 10th cut another shot off the number. The Bucs regained control and were up 11 through the 15th. Chattanooga blitzed 16 and 17 at a scintillating 9 under to get within two before a wobbly 18th sends the good guys into Tuesday's final 18 down four.
 
"Proud of their fight today," Coach Blaine Woodruff said. We had a couple of stretches that put a dent in their lead, but the main one was 15-17. I think we picked up nine shots on those holes.
 
"Our guys never quit. I like them in the role of hunter tomorrow."
 
John Houk led the way with 7-under 65. His 10-under 134 matches his season best total and puts him in second, two behind the Bucs Mats Ege at 12 under. The two dueled throughout the day in the same pairing with matching 65s.
 
Paul Conroy fired 4-under 68. He played 15-17 birdie-birdie-eagle shooting 31 (-5) on his back nine. Samuel Espinosa shot 69 (-3) with Garrett Engle's 72 (E) completing the score. Braedon Wearhad the drop score turning in 74.
 
Espinosa is also at the top of the leaderboard. He's fourth with an 8-under 136. Conroy's 141 (-3) is also top 10 tied for seventh. Engle has 147 just ahead of Wear's 150.
 
The Bucs 554 leads ahead of Chattanooga's 558. UNCG is a distant third with 573 ahead of Furman in fourth at 577. Wofford (580), Mercer (584), Western Carolina (599) and Samford (602) round out the field.
 
The field returns to the tee at 8 a.m., Monday morning. The Mocs open on No. 1 at 8:55 with Wear leading off. He's followed by Engle, Conroy, Espinosa and Houk. Scoring is linked above.
 
SoCon Championships
April 21-23 (Sun-Tue) | Eatonton, Ga. | 54 holes (18 per day)
Oconee Course | Par 72 | 7,174 yards
1) ETSU: 275-279=554 (-22)
2) Chattanooga: 284-274=558 (-18)
3) UNCG: 290-283=573 (-3)
4) Furman: 286-291=577 (+1)
5) Wofford: 300-280=580 (+4)
6) Mercer: 296-288=584 (+8)
7) Western Carolina: 305-294=599 (+23)
8) Samford: 302-300=602 (+26)
Mocs:
2) John Houk: 69-65=134 (-10)
4) Samuel Espinosa: 67-69-136 (-8)
T7) Paul Conroy: 73-68=141 (-3)
T18) Garrett Engle: 75-72=147 (+3)
T26) Braedon Wear: 76-74=150 (+6)
 
Lineup
Time (ET): Student-Athlete (vs. Par)
8:55 a.m.: Braedon Wear (+6)
9:05 a.m.: Garrett Engle (+3).
9:15 a.m.: Paul Conroy (-3)
9:25 a.m.: Samuel Espinosa (-8)
9:35 a.m.: John Houk (-10)
AlternateDalton Chuba (72.93)
 
Field (Top 100 ranking)
(43) Chattanooga, (20) ETSU, (83) Furman, Mercer, (40) UNCG, Samford, Western Carolina, Wofford
 
Notes
  • Lowest team round by total since 272 (-12) the fall at Furman (Oct. 22)...14 under is tied for seventh lowest all-time vs par and best since 19-under 265 in the final round of last April's win at Wofford.
  • School record 21st par or better team card.
  • Counting cards were 16 under on the par fives today with three eagles, 10 birdies and three pars, all on the opening hole. That's 10 strokes better than round one.
  • 5 under on the front nine this week, -13 on the back.
  • 60th career par or better round for Conroy. Third Moc to accomplish that joining Stephan Jaeger '12 (69) and Jonathan Hodge '09 (64).
  • Houk (21) is now two shy of his own and Conroy's record for par or better cards (23) set last year.
History
  • 6-time SoCon Champions: 1987, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013.
  • 6-time SoCon Runner-Up: 1978, 1989, 1993, 2014, 2018, 2023.
  • Two Medalists: 1978-Donnie Green (221, +5), 2012-Stephan Jaeger 207, -9).
  • Conroy is the program scoring leader (71.56) in the event ahead of Wear (71.67) - min. 2 appearances.
  • Conroy has two career top 5 at the SoCon Championships. A third ties 2012 U.S. Amateur Champ Steven Fox for most in program history.
  • Conroy's four cards in the 60s (all at Oconee) is the program record in the event.
  • Conroy is three par or better cards from matching Jaeger's school mark of eight in the event.
  • If Conroy shoots par or better for 54 holes, that ties Jaeger's record of three in the event.
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