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  • Daniel Hooker

Western Carolina Men’s Golf Vaults to Third at The Carolina Cup

Sophomore transfer Ryan Thomas climbed 16 spots in the individual standings on Monday, matching redshirt junior teammate Pablo Hernandez in a tie for 10th-place to lead the Western Carolina men’s golf team to third place after 36 holes at The Carolina Cup supported by Proud Partners Taco Bell and the BMW Performance Center at the par-72, 6,929-yard Carolina Country Club.

WCU climbed four positions in the team standings, entering Tuesday’s final round at even-par, 576, just nine total strokes off the team lead held by Lipscomb at 567. UAB rallied six spots with a 12-under par team round on Monday to sit ins second place a stroke off the pace and eight ahead of the Catamounts in third. UCF is fourth with a two-round score of 578 with fellow Southern Conference foe Mercer rounding out the top five, four strokes in arrears of WCU.

The final round is scheduled for Tuesday morning with tee times beginning at 8 a.m., off both the first and 10th tees. Paired with the top two in the standings, the Catamount scoring five opens on the front nine beginning at 9:30 a.m. Follow the action online with live scoring available through GolfStat and a live stream through GameKast.

Thomas matched his second-best round in the Purple & Gold on Monday, with a 2-under par round of 70. The Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, native carded six birdies over the second 18 holes to give him nine on the week. Countering a bogey on the par-5 sixth with a trio of birdies on the front nine, Thomas made the turn for the clubhouse at 2-under par. The Aussie birdied the par-4 11th to briefly move to 3-under for the day before a bogey on the par-4 14th and a double-bogey on the par-4 16th relegated him back to even-par for the day.

Thomas closed the round strong, though, posting consecutive-birdies over the final two holes for his 2-under par round, moving into the Top 10.

Hernandez advanced seven positions into the 10th-place tie with an even-par round of 72. With four bogeys and just one birdie on the front nine, the Madrid, Spain, native turned to the back at 3-over par. He closed the day with six pars and three birdies including two over the final three holes of the round to shoot 72.

Senior Magnus Pedersen advanced six positions on Monday with a second even-par round of 72 for a two-day score of 144, with fifth-year senior Louis Theys climbing nine spots into a tie for 25th after carving two strokes off his opening round to shoot even-par 72. Rounding out WCU’s scoring five is Adam Hooker in a tie for 48th at 151 with rounds of 75 and 76. Pedersen countered four bogeys with four birdies for his 72, while Theys likewise posted four birdies in also shooting even-par. Five-over par at the turn, Hooker shot 1-under on the back nine by carding three birdies against two bogeys.

Playing unattached as an individual, redshirt freshman transfer Josh Lendach is in a tie for 65th overall with a two-day score of 157 (77-80).

The final round gets underway Tuesday morning in Spartanburg, S.C.

3 – Western Carolina – 290 – 286 = 576

T10 – Ryan Thomas – 73-70 = 143 (-1)

T10 – Pablo Hernandez – 71-72 = 143 (-1)

T15 – Magnus Pedersen – 72-72 = 144 (E)

T25 – Louis Theys – 74-72 = 146 (+2)

T48 – Adam Hooker – 75-76 = 151 (+7)

T65 – Josh Lendach (ind.) – 77-80 = 157 (+13)

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