After two rounds at the 2014 Atlantic Sun Men’s Golf Championship, the leaderboard is filled with players seeking their first or second individual collegiate medalist honor. Only one of the top-five players was in the top-10 at last year’s championship.
James Beale of Mercer, who has one career victory coming into this tournament, vaulted into the lead after shooting 70, tying for the the low-round of day two. Beale personified the consistency that Coach Bradley and his squad have displayed all season. Last year Beale tied for seventh at the A-Sun Championship, and now is looking to become the first individual medalist from Mercer since 1993 when Walt Deloach won at Barrington Hall Golf Club.
Chasing him are four others who also seek their first conference individual title. Beale’s Bear teammate Trey Rule, who has competed as Mercer’s top-ranked player all season, finished tied for 21st in last year’s A-Sun Championship, where his best round was a 74. He has already bettered that score in both rounds this year (71,73) and remains only one shot behind the leader.
Northern Kentucky’s Corey Richmond, with one career victory at the 2012 Bearcat Invitational, carded a 71 (-1) today to put himself in position for Norse history. Richmond has broken Northern Kentucky’s A-Sun 18-hole record two consecutive days and could become the first Norse individual to capture the Atlantic Sun Men’s Golf Conference Championship. Last year Richmond tied for 35th, firing a three-round total of 236.
Kennesaw State’s Austin Vick also knows what it feels like to be in the hunt after two rounds at the A-Sun Championship. Last year, Vick was among the leaders also after two rounds before falling out of contention three. He has positioned himself well once again, looking to better his previous top finish, a fifth place at the 2013 Linger Longer Invitational.
North Florida’s Taylor Hancock is the final member of the group sitting one shot behind leader James Beale. The sophomore from Clearwater, Fla., has finished in the top-25 once this season, a 16th place finish at The Sea Best Invitational that is also his career-best finish since joining the Ospreys. If Hancock wins, he would follow teammate MJ Maguire as A-Sun individual medalist, as Maguire accomplished the feat last year as a sophomore as well.