By David Mann
The Darton College golf team finished very well today to win its first tournament of the 2011 season and with Bill Jones as its new head coach.
The No. 6-ranked Cavaliers shot 295 today – improving from the 305 scored Monday – to finish the tourney with 600 strokes. Finishing behind them were Region XVII rivals Abraham-Baldwin Agricultural College (637), South Georgia College (640), Gordon College (645), and Andrew College (651).
Darton College sophomore Joe Sakulpolphaisan shot 70 today to finish the tournament at even par and five strokes better than teammate Shad Tutin, who led Monday at 73 and finished second overall today with a two-day total of 149 strokes.
Jones said that although Tutin played very well today at River Pointe Golf Club in Albany, he struggled with hole #16, where twice he scored a double bogey.
“He doesn’t make mistakes like that very often,” Jones said. “He’ll learn from that.”
Sophomore Austin McNeal tied for third overall with teammate Neil Graham, who played as an individual (and thus did not contribute to the team score), as both of these Cavaliers from Douglas shot 153 for their two-day totals. McNeal shot three straight birdies on the back nine today, Jones said.
Freshman Robert Robertson, of Evans, struggled with winds and firm greens yesterday and shot 89. He made a big comeback today, shooting 75. Nick Green, a freshman from Covington, shot a 78 today to finish with 157 strokes and to complete the team score for Darton.
Freshman Chase Jones of Chattsworth shot 157 today and freshman Jonathan Howard, of Columbus, shot 77 today to finish with 155. Both, along with Graham, played the tournament as individuals.
Jones uttered his disappointment in an interview Monday after his team shot a total of 305 stokes. Today, improving by ten strokes, his team looked much better, he said.
“I laid into them pretty good last night – 305 on one of their home courses is unacceptable,” he said today.
He said the team figured out how to play a better game today.
“Getting out there and just relaxing and trusting their game – that’s the biggest key,” Jones said. “ Yesterday they just looked like they were fighting too hard.”
The Cavaliers are scheduled to travel next to Kinderlou Forest, in Valdosta, for the Thomas University Invitational on Oct. 3.