BATAVIA, Ohio --- Tennessee State found success on day one of the NKU Fall Collegiate Classic, rebounding from a rough beginning to the season a week ago. The Tigers fired a 23-over, 591, through the first two rounds to finish in eighth in the 17 team field. TSU is just seven strokes out of the top four as they head into the final round on Monday morning.
Dayton holds the team lead with a 1-under, 567, and are comfortable in front of second place Oakland who ended the day at 8-over, 576.
In the individual race, Nick Paxson of Dayton and Marc Norton of Oakland are tied for the lead at 3-under. Jermey Fultz is six strokes off the lead heading into the final round. Fultz converted on eight birdies on the day, which is the second most through 36 holes, one behind Morehead State’s Thomas DeMarco.
Fultz (72-73=145) hit 18 fairways and 26 greens on Sunday. In the morning session, the junior just missed a hole in one as he hit a 6-iron off the box from 195 yards out to three inches of the hole on the par-3, 2nd. In the afternoon, Fultz used a lob wedge from 62 yards on the par-4, 9th, that landed six feet from the pin to set up another of his eight birdies.
Drew Owens (73-73=146) sits one stroke behind Fultz and is tied for 15th in the field of 100 golfers. Owens shot Even on the 14 par-4’s, second best of all competitors, and tallied three birdies in the first round and two in the second. The sophomore highlighted the day with a bunker shot from 170 yards to one foot of the flag to set up one of his five birdies.
Sophomore Rosario Falzone (74-75=149) used his play on the six par-5’s to shoot 8-over on the day. Falzone was joined by six other golfers to play them at 3-under, tops of the tournament. The sophomore got his day started with his first of six birdies on the par-4, 16th. Falzone hit a 5-iron to six feet of the cup for the makeable putt.
In the morning round, Todd McGill (77-74=151) hit a 7-iron to a foot on the par-4, 4th, from 160 yards out to make birdie. McGill sank a 10 foot putt to make birdie on the par-3, 12th. In the afternoon, the senior would go to work with his wedge as he hit to six feet on 14, to 10 feet on the first and to three feet on No. 5 setting up makeable birdie putts.
Sam Gatlin (84-83=170) carded four birdies during his first competition of the year. The sophomore was 1-over through the first nine holes during the afternoon session before running into trouble during the final nine holes of the day.
The final round of the NKU Fall Classic begins with a shotgun start at 8:00 a.m. CT. The Tigers will be paired with IPFW, Wright State and the host, Northern Kentucky.