Fossum, Wolves within striking distance after first round of SAC Tournament

Fossum, Wolves within striking distance after first round of SAC Tournament
Monday, April 20, 2015 | by Chas Goodwin, Athletic Communications Assistant

MARVIN, N.C. – The Newberry Wolves finished the first round of the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Tournament with a team score of 308, tied for fifth heading into Tuesday’s final round. This year’s event is being held at the par-72, 6,904-yard Firethorne Country Club in Marvin, N.C.

The event was originally scheduled for 54-holes, but heavy rain washed Sunday’s round, shortening the tournament to two days and 36 holes.

Tusculum will lead the field in Tuesday’s final round after shooting a team score of 295 on Monday. Wingate sits second with a 301 while Queens is one stroke behind in third. Lincoln Memorial (305) is fourth while Newberry and Coker are tied for fifth. Only nine strokes separate second place Wingate from 10th place Mars Hill.

Tusculum’s Nick Forsberg is atop the individual leaderboard with a 2-under par 70 for the first round. Wingate’s Benedict Gebhardt and Phillip Konnikov are tied for second with even 72s while Queens’ Jack McLaren and Tusculum’s Brad Hawkins round out the top five in the individual ranks with a 1-over par 73 each.

The Wolves’ Fredrik Fossum (Levanger, Norway) has positioned himself within striking distance for the final 18 holes as he sits tied for seventh with a 3-over par 75. His first round marks the fourth lowest score this season and the ninth time he has shot 75 or better in 18 rounds.

All-SAC honorable mention selection Ryan Wilkinson (Gallivants Ferry, S.C.) sits tied for 14th with a 4-over par 76.

Luke Atack (Hamilton, Canada) breezed through the front nine at even par but the back nine gave him some trouble. However, he was able to save 6-over par to sit tied for 25th going into the final day, just eight strokes back of the leader. The tightly packed individual field sports only a range of eight strokes between the leader, Forsberg, and the six players tied for 25th

Second team all-SAC selection Tommy Hurst (Miami, Fla.) struggled with the back nine as well, finishing the day with a 79. The senior will enter the final round tied for 31st.

Evan DeGrazia (Thunder Bay, Canada) rounded out the scoring with an 80 in the first round, entering Tuesday tied for 39th.

"We struggled today," head coach Howard Vroon said. "The conditions were challenging and we were not at our best, but Fred really played well, which was nice to see. We are very hopeful for tomorrow, we know what to do and we have been doing it for most of the spring. We have a tremendous opportunity in front of us and hope to make the most of it."

The Wolves are in the first group teeing off on Tuesday morning. Fossum will be the first person off for Newberry at 8:30 a.m. on hole No. 1.  He will be followed by DeGrazia (8:39 a.m.), Atack (8:48 a.m.), Wilkinson (8:57 a.m.) and Hurst (9:06 a.m.).