GOLF: Bobcats finish strong at USCAA Nationals

The Georgia Northwestern golf team followed up a first-round 300 with a 293 in its final round to place fifth overall at the USCAA National Championships in State College, Pa. on Tuesday. Noah Hankins (second, from right) was a second team All-American. / Scott Herpst, file photo

The first 18 holes of the 2018 USCAA Men's National College Golf Championship is in the books and the Georgia Northwestern Bobcats are in fifth place overall, just one shot out of fourth place, five shots out of third and nine shots out of second.

But it will take a Herculean effort to claim the national title.

Georgia Northwestern's 300 on Monday is a whopping 17 strokes off the pace, set by St. Mary of the Woods College. The Indiana squad blistered the Penn State University Blue Course layout with a tournament record 283 (5-under par) and currently enjoy an eight-shot advantage with just 18 holes remaining on Tuesday.

Defending champion SUNY-Delhi is second after a 3-over 291, while Cleary University of Michigan - who held the 18-hole lead a year ago - is currently third at 5-over (295). The Apprentice School (N.J.) is fourth at 11-over (299).

Noah Hankins and Spencer Alexander set the pace for the Bobcats on Monday with a pair of 2-over 74's. Lane Strickland had a 75, while Ryan Redd shot a 77 to complete the team score. Cole Roberts also played on Monday and finished with an 82.

Last year, GNTC was in third place after Day 1 of the two-day event. The Bobcats went on a run to take the lead with nine holes remaining, but faltered down the stretch and ended up in fourth place overall.

Georgia Northwestern will tee off at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

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