Led by junior Brian Langley's school-record 7-under-par 65, the USC Beaufort men's golf team posted a team score of 285 to take the lead after the first round of the Thomas University Invitational on Monday at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta, Ga.
The Sand Sharks have a 10-shot lead over Southern Wesleyan, and Langley has a four-shot cushion on the individual leaderboard. Darton College (298) and host Thomas (299) also are within striking distance going into today's final round.
Langley's score of 7-under is a USCB record for the lowest score in relation to par; Jack Bingham also shot 65, but that score was on a par-70 course.
But Langley wasn't the only USCB player to go low, as junior Owen Bell is in fourth place after an opening 71. Sophomore Ryan Clancy (74), senior Travis Cashion (75) and freshman Alex Mihai (80) rounded out the lineup.
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USCB's team score of 285 marks its best in three tournaments this fall. Now coach Chris Cuneo wants to see his inexperienced squad finish the job.
"Really strong play today from Brian and Owen in fairly windy conditions," Cuneo said. "This is the position we want to be in. Now this new group of Sand Sharks has to learn to close the deal and get the 'W.' "
RUNNERS EARN SUN HONORS
USC Beaufort cross country athletes Anthony Vecchio and Melissa Carder have been named the Sun Conference Runners of the Week for their performances Saturday at the Southern Wesleyan Invitational.
Vecchio, a sophomore from Bluffton, was named the conference men's runner of the week after winning the race in Central with an 8-kilometer time of 26:37 -- a personal best -- to edge Luis Gonzalez of Truett-McConnell by six seconds.
Carder, a sophomore from New Windsor, N.Y., was named the women's runner of the week after a third-place finish at Southern Wesleyan. She ran a 5K time of 19:54, which was 1:09 behind champion Brittany Aikens of Brenau.
The USCB cross country teams will be back in action Saturday at the Disney World Classic in Orlando, Fla., before hosting the Sand Shark Classic on Oct. 20 at Hardeeville's Sgt. Jasper Park.