DADE CITY - Thanks to a strong finish over the final nine holes of the back nine at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club here Tuesday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA Division II South/Southeast Super Regional, Florida Southern remained in contention to earn a spot in this year's Division II National Championships later this month in Conover, N.C.
The eighth-ranked Moccasins, who shot a 292 to sit in third place after Monday's opening round, opened Tuesday's second round by having its five golfers shoot 10-over on the front nine, before carding its five golfers shot 10 shots better on the back nine as they carded a 4-over to finish the round by shooting a 12-over par 300 as a team on the 7,098-yard Lake Jovita course. FSC dropped a 78 in Tuesday's round.
"It was an absolutely horrendous front nine for our team today. One of the worst starts I've ever seen," Moccasin head coach Doug Gordin said. "But we were able to pull it back together over the final nine holes to give us a shot tomorrow."
With its performance on Tuesday, the Mocs enter Wednesday's final round sitting a in a tie with 17th-ranked Florida Tech for sixth place with a 592 for 36 holes. The Mocs are one shot in front of eighth place Limestone (593) and trail fifth place Saint Leo by eight shots as the host Lions have shot a 584 for 36 holes.
In Tuesday's second round, the Mocs entered the final nine holes of the day sitting in a tie for ninth place after shooting a 14-over 194 on the front nine. On the back nine, the Mocs rebounded as they shot a 4-over 184 to climb three spots up the leaderboard.
First round leader and No. 2 ranked Lynn extended its first round lead after carding a 2-under 286 in the second round to push its 36 hole total to a 14-under 562. The Fighting Knights, who shot a 12-under 276 in the opening round, sit eight shots in front of No. 1 ranked Nova Southeastern, who has carded a six-under 570 for 36 holes to sit in second place.
Fourth-ranked Barry shot a 2-under 286 in Tuesday's second to jump three spots up the leaderboard as they have carded a six-over 582 for 36 holes to sit in third place, while No. 3 ranked USC Aiken is in fourth place after firing a 290 in th second round to push its 36 hole score to a 7-over 583.
Coming into Wednesday's final round, nine teams are within 10 shots of sixth place FSC and Florida Tech to earn the final spot from the super regional into this this year's National Championships, which is scheduled for May 18-22 at the Rock Barn Golf & Spa.
Leading the way for the Mocs after 36 holes is freshman John VanDerLaan (Southbury, Conn.). VanDerLaan, who was named this year's Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year, fired a 2-over 74 in the second round to push his 36 hole total to a 1-over 145 to sit in a tie for 17th place. In Monday's first round, VanDerLaan shot a 1-over 71. VanDerLaan opened his round on Tuesday by shooting a 3-over 39 on the front nine, before carding a 1-under 35 on the back nine. He recorded three birdies and five bogeys on his scoreboard in the second round.
Lynn's Mateo Gomez and Nova Southeastern's Santiago Gomez sit atop the individual leaderboard after 36 holes as they both have shot 3-under 141's. In the second round, Lynn's Gomez carded a 3-under 69 after firing an even-par 72 in the first round, while NSU's Gomez shot a 2-under 70 in the second round afer firing a 1-under 71 in the opening round.
First round leader Martin Cancino of Lynn followed up his 6-under 66 in the first round by shooting a 4-over 76 in the second round to push his 36 hole total to a 2-under 142 to sit in a seven-way tie for third place.
Through two rounds and 36 holes of action at the super regional, only 11 golfers have shot under par at Lake Jovita.
Sitting behind FSC, Florida Tech and Limestone on the leaderboard is 19th-ranked Georgia Southwestern, who is in ninth place with a 594 for 36 holes, while 11th-ranked West Florida is 10th with a 596 for 36 holes and 13th-ranked North Alabama is 11th after shooting a 598 for 36 holes.
Erskine and 10th-ranked West Georgia are tied for 12th as they each have shot 600 for 36 holes, while 15th-ranked Columbus State and Wingate are tied for 14th with 601's for 36 holes. Fifth-ranked shot a 296 in the second round to push its 36 hole total to 602 to sit in 16th place. Tusculum sits 17th with a 616 for 36 holes, while North Greenville is 18th with a 620 for 36 holes, Georgia College is 19th with a 629 for 36 holes and Benedict has shot a 725 for 36 holes to sit in 20th place.
The Mocs top golfer in Tuesday's second round was freshman John Coultas (Valrico, Fla.) as he shot a one-over 73 to push his 36 hole total to sit tied for 25th with a 3-over 147. In Tuesday's round, Coultas opened by shooting a 3-over 39 on the front nine, including firing an eight on the par 4 No. 5 hole and then shot a 2-under 34 on the back nine. He recorded six birdies, three bogeys and a quadruple bogey on his scorecard in the second round.
FSC's third counter on Tuesday was sophomore Levin Hoffmann (Sarstedt, Germany) as he shot a 3-over 75 in the second round to sit tied for 37th place with a 149 for 36 holes. Hoffmann, who shot a 2-over 74 in the first round, opened his second round by shooting a 1-over 37 on the front nine, before firing a 2-over 38 on the back nine. In Tuesday's second round, Hoffmann recorded two birdies and five bogeys on his scorecard.
The final counter for the Mocs in Tuesday's second round was sophomore Jason Huntington (Lakeland, Fla.). Huntington, who shot a 73 in the first round, struggled in the second round as he carded a 78 to fall into a tie for 48th place after 36 holes. Huntington shot a 3-over par 9 on both the front and back nines on Tuesday.
FSC's other competitor on Tuesday was freshman Jimmy Jones (Tampa, Fla.) as he followed up his 4-over 76 in the first round by carding a 6-over 78 in Tuesday's second round to sit tied for 69th place with a 154 for 36 holes. Jones, who was a Second-Team All-SSC selection, struggled on the front nine as he shot a 4-over 40 and then fired a 2-over 38 on the back nine.
The Mocs will close out play in the South/Southeast Super Regional on Wednesday. The Mocs are scheduled to tee off from the No. 1 tee beginning at 12 p.m. FSC will play the final round with USC Aiken and Saint Leo. The No. 1 golfers in the threesome will tee off at 12:40 p.m.
Click here for live hole-by-hole scoring of South/Southeast Super Regional