Theys Rallies on Day Two, WCU Tied for Fourth at SoCon Men’s Golf Championship
Western Carolina fifth-year senior Louis Theys matched the second-lowest 18-hole score of Monday’s second round at the 2023 Southern Conference Men’s Golf Championship with a 4-under par 68. Theys climbed 18 spots – the biggest gainer in the tournament field – to move into a tie for 11th place with one round remaining.
Paced by graduate transfer Adam Hooker in a three-way tie for eighth place, the Catamounts advanced into a tie for fourth overall, matching Mercer with an even-par score of 576 through 36 of the scheduled 54 holes at the par-72, 7,393-yard Oconee Course at the Reynolds Lake Oconee.
The final round of the champion-crowning event is scheduled for Tuesday with tee times opening on the first and 10th tees at 8 a.m. Paired with chromatic rival Furman, the Catamount scoring five opens on the front nine between 8:05 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. Live scoring through GolfStat is available online through a link at CatamountSports.com.
Opening on the back nine Monday, Hooker carded a birdie and a bogey to make the turn to the back at even par. The Lebanon, Va., product rallied from consecutive bogeys on the par-4 second and third with back-to-back birdies on the par-5 seventh and par-3 eighth to finish his round even at 72. Coupled with his 2-under par first round, Hooker is tied for eighth at 142.
Mired in a tie for 29th after Sunday’s opening 18 holes, Theys charged up the leaderboard on Monday, countering two bogeys with six birdies for a 4-under par round of 68 and a two-day total of 143. A stroke over par three holes into his day, the Villers-Perwin, Belgium, native birdied four of his final six holes on the back nine to turn to the front at 3-under. Birdies on the two par-5’s on the front pushed him to 5-under par with three holes to play before a second bogey on the par-4 ninth left him at 68.
Redshirt freshman Josh Lendach carded his second consecutive round of even-par 72 on Monday. The Raleigh, N.C., native carded all three of his birdies on the back nine to make the turn to the clubhouse at 2-under par. Bogeys on the par-4 third and par-3 fifth relegated him back to even and allowed him to advance five spots into a tie for 16th overall at 144.
Rounding out WCU’s scoring five are redshirt junior Pablo Hernandez in a tie for 29th at 4-over par 148 and senior Magnus Pedersen in 39th overall at 156.
Hernandez slipped 13 spots, following his first-round 71 with a 5-over par 77 on Monday for a two-day total of 148. One-under par through the first six holes of his day, a trio of bogeys to close the back nine left him turning at 2-over par. Hernandez finished with five additional bogeys against two more birdies of this final nine holes of the day. A double-bogey on the par-4 18th for a second-straight day left Pedersen making the turn at 2-over par. The Norwegian moved back to even-par with a pair of birdies, but four bogeys over his final five holes of the day left him at 76 for the round and 156 for the event.
Hooker and Lendach continue to pace WCU with 26 pars apiece, tied for the fifth-most in the field, while Theys and Hernandez have a team-best eight birdies through 36 holes.
No. 33 ranked ETSU enters Tuesday’s final round with a one-shot lead over Tennessee conference rival No. 47 Chattanooga, 555-to-556, as the Mocs trimmed two strokes off the Buccaneers’ first-round lead. Furman (568) slipped to third, 13-strokes off the pace and eight strokes ahead of the two-way tie between WCU and Mercer at even-par, 576.
No. 48 UNCG sits in sixth place with a two-round score of 583, seven strokes back of the Catamounts and Bears, with Wofford (586) and Samford (589) rounding out the eight-team field.
Chattanooga’s Paul Conroy climbed two spots to move into a tie atop the individual leaderboard with Mats Ege of ETSU with matching scores of 10-under par 134. ETSU’s Matty Dodd-Berry slipped into the third position, a stroke off the pace.
The final results of the 2023 SoCon Men's Golf Championship will be made available after play concludes on Tuesday. Additional tournament information is available through the Championship tab on SoConSports.com. Keep track of everything related to Catamount men's golf and WCU Athletics through its social media outlets on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports), Instagram (@wcu_catamounts), and Twitter (@catamounts, @CatamountMGolf).
2023 SoCon Men's Golf Championship Reynolds Lake Oconee | After 36 Holes 1 – No. 33 ETSU – 274 – 281 = 555 (-21)
2 – No. 47 Chattanooga – 277 – 279 = 556 (-20)
3 – Furman – 277 – 291 = 568 (-8)
T4 – Western Carolina – 288 – 288 = 576 (E)
T4 – Mercer – 285 – 291 = 576 (E)
6 – No. 48 UNCG – 292 – 291 = 583 (+7)
7 – Wofford – 290 – 296 = 586 (+10)
8 – Samford – 294 – 295 = 589 (+13)
T4 – Western Carolina – 288 – 288 = 576 (E) T8 – Adam Hooker – 70 – 72 = 142 (-2)
T11 – Louis Theys – 75 – 68 = 143 (-1)
T16 – Josh Lendach – 72 – 72 = 144 (E)
T29 – Pablo Hernandez – 71 – 77 = 148 (+4)
39 – Magnus Pedersen – 80 – 76 = 156 (+12)