DADE CITY - Florida Southern had all four of its counters here Monday shoot between one-under par (71) and two-over par (74) in the opening round of the 2015 NCAA Division II South/Southeast Super Regional to finish with a four-over 292 to stand in third place out of 20 teams at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club.
With its score of 292, the eighth-ranked Moccasins, who are making its 39th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance and 43rd overall in school history, are within 11 shots of second place and No. 1 ranked Nova Southeastern (281) and are 16 shots behind first round leader and No. 2 ranked Lynn, who carded a 12-under 276 on Monday.
In fact, 13 teams are within 14 shots of the Mocs heading into Tuesday's second round of action. The super regional tournament will conclude on Wednesday, May 8 with the top six teams and top two individuals not on an advancing team) earning a spot in the 2015 NCAA D-II National Championships in Conover, N.C., on May 18-22.
In Monday's opening round, the Mocs, who teed off in the morning from hole No. 10, opened by shooting even par on the first nine holes, before firing a four-over on the final nine holes to set its team score of 292. FSC is one of 10 teams that shot under 300 in the first round of the tournament on the 7,098-yard Lake Jovita course.
Leading the way for the Mocs was freshman John VanDerLaan (Southbury, Conn.) as the Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year fired a one-under par 71 to sit in a tie for ninth place after the first 18 holes. VanDerLaan, who is one of 11 golfers to shoot under par in the opening round, fired a one-under 35 on the back nine, before shooting an even-par 36 on the front nine in the first round. He recorded three birdies, two bogeys and had 13 pars on his scorecard Monday.
Sitting behind the trio of SSC teams after the first round are No. 3 ranked USC Aiken and Limestone, who both shot 293's to sit in a tie for fourth place, while 19th-ranked Georgia Southwestern, 4th-ranked Barry, 9th-ranked Saint Leo and 15th-ranked Columbus State each shot 296's to sit tie in a tie for sixth place.
17th-ranked Florida Tech sits 10th after shooting a 298, while 11th-ranked West Florida shot a 301 to sit in 11th place and 10th-ranked West Georgia and 22nd-ranked Wingate each shot 302's to sit tied for 12th place. 13th-ranked North Alabama (303) is 14th, while 24th-ranked Erskine (304) is 15th and 5th-ranked Flagler (306) is 16th. 25th-ranked North Greenville shot a 311 to sit 17th, while Tusculum shot a 314 to stand 18th, Georgia College shot 327 to sit 19th and Benedict fired a 360 to stand 20th.
Lynn's Martin Cancino turned in the best round of the day as he carded a six-under 66 to hold a two shot lead over Nova Southeastern's Oscar Lengden, who fired a four-under 68. Four golfers shot 3-under 69's to sit in a tie for third place.
Along with VanDerLaan, sophomore Jason Huntington (Lakeland, Fla.) fired a one-over 73 to sit in a tie for 20th place. Huntington recorded six birdies, one bogey and three double bogeys in Monday's opening round. He opened with an even-par 36 on the back nine, before shooting a one-over 37 on the front nine.
The third and fourth counters for the Mocs on Monday were freshman John Coultas (Valrico, Fla.) and sophomore Levin Hoffmann (Sarstedt, Germany) as they fired two-over par 74's to sit in a tie for 28th place. Coultas finished the first round with just two birdies and had four bogeys on his scorecard, while Hoffmann had four birdies and six bogeys on his scorecard in the opening round.
FSC's other golfer to compete on Monday was freshman Jimmy Jones (Tampa, Fla.) as the Mocs dropped his score of four-over 76. In Monday's opening round, Jones failed to record a birdie, but he did post an eagle on the par 5 No. 13 hole and also had four bogeys and one double bogey.
The Mocs will return to course on Tuesday for the second round. They are scheduled to tee from the No. 1 tee beginning at 12:50 a.m. with the same two teams they were paired with on Monday (Georgia Southwestern and Limestone.). The No. 1 golfers in the threesome will tee off at 1:30 p.m.
Click here for live hole-by-hole scoring of South/Southeast Super Regional