Men's golf team struggles in third round of national tournament

Men's golf team struggles in third round of national tournament

The Eastern Florida State College men's golf team had a rough third round Thursday at the NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament at Duran Golf Club.

The Titans fell to seventh place in the standings, shooting a 5-over 293 and are even par for the tournament heading into the final round.

"We just struggled. We struggled, that is really all I can say until I see some stats and see what we can fix and try to finish the tournament well," Eastern Florida State College men's golf coach Jamie Howell said. 

Freshman Thomas Matthews was the only Titans player to shoot under par, posting his best round of the tournament – a 5-under 67.

And it started right from the first hole as he chipped in for eagle from about 30 yards out.

"It was a touchy chip over the bunker and across the spine, I nipped it a bit and I knew it was going to be really good," Matthews said. "I knew when I chipped in on one that I was going to have a good day. I holed a nice putt on three for par, then holed a nice one for birdie on four and after that I just got into a nice rhythm."

Matthews shot 5-under on the front nine and briefly went to 6-under before a couple of bogeys but was one of the few players to birdie 18 to finish with the 67 and is tied for 28th overall.

"I have been struggling all semester really and for it to all come together now, it just gives me all the confidence going into tomorrow and I know I can shoot that score again or maybe even a bit better tomorrow and try to help us move up the leaderboard," Matthews said.

Teammates Ben Ramos and Beck Fox also each recorded eagles in their round. Ramos hit his approach shot to within a few feet and tapped in for eagle on No. 11 while Fox hit a long putt on No. 15 for his eagle.

Fox finished the round 1-over par 73 and just missed another long putt on No. 18 that would have put him even for the round. The sophomore is tied for seventh overall heading into the final round.

The team shot 7-under on the par 5 holes Thursday and will tee off in the final round beginning at 11:20 a.m. on No. 1 at Duran Golf Club.

Central Alabama shoots way to second, trails Indian Hills by one stroke