Site: Bradenton Fla.
Course: The Concession Golf Club (Par 72, 7,470 yards)
Tournament: The Challenge at The Concession
HPU Team Standing: 2nd of 11 teams (302-310-612, +36)
Top HPU Individual: Brendan MacDougall 2nd (73-71-144, E)
Next HPU Round: Tuesday, March 10 — at The Challenge at The Concession (Bradenton, Fla.), 9:00 a.m.
BRADENTON, Fla. – Brendan MacDougall shot even par at one of the toughest golf courses on the collegiate circuit in high winds to sit in second place and just two shots off the lead after the first two rounds of The Challenge at The Concession on Monday (March 9). As a team, the High Point University men’s golf team also enters the final round in second place, 13 shots behind the leaders and co-hosts, South Florida.
Sophomore Brandon Einstein is in the top-five after 36 holes, five shots behind MacDougall. Einstein was the leader in the clubhouse after 18 holes, carding a one-under 71 in the morning round while MacDougall was right behind him in third with a 73.
“I asked the guys to do two things today and that was to have a good attitude all 36 holes and compete until the last putt drops,” head coach Brady Gregor said when the day was done. “They did that today and I couldn’t be prouder as a coach.”
MacDougall opened the morning on hole five and proceeded to birdie six and eight but bogeyed seven to head to the back one-under. He strung together seven straight pars before a bogey on 16 sent him back to even, and then bogeyed one and two before bouncing back with a birdie on three to end the round at +1.
He got the stroke back in round two, shooting a 71 for the second-lowest round of the afternoon. This time he bogeyed six and birdied seven to start and stayed at even par for the round until he bogeyed 13. Recovering from mistakes continued to be a theme for the senior as he quickly responded with a birdie on the 15th and birdied hole one to get under par in the tournament for the first time since his 11th hole of the morning. A double bogey on two put him back above par but once again MacDougall had an answer, birdieing his final two holes of the day to get him back to even.
Einstein had a very consistent morning round, parring 13 of his opening 18 holes. He got off on the right foot with a birdie on the par-5 seventh hole, his second hole of the day. He followed that up with birdies on 12 and 17, with a bogey on 15 mixed in, to make the turn back to the front at two-under. A bogey on the second dropped him back to -1 and he was able to par out to take the lead into the afternoon. The second round was not as kind to the sophomore, as he finished the round +6 to slide back to a tie for fourth place, still in the hunt tomorrow.
Alec Weary finished the day tied for 27th at +14, closing out round two strong with a pair of birdies. Adam Hooker was behind him in 42nd place and Drew Weary enters round three tied for 51st, ending day one with a birdie on the 606-yard seventh hole just like his brother did on the seventh and eight holes.
The Concession Golf Club played 7,470 yards on day one, by far the longest course the Panthers have played this season. Coupled with winds of over 20 mph, it created one of the most difficult environments Gregor has coached in.
“This place is special not only because of the history but because of the challenge it presents,” Gregor said of The Concession Golf Club. “You have to look at where you stand compared to the field here and not your score because it’s so tough, and we went out and did what any team looks to do in day one. We’re in the final pairings and get the chance to compete for a win and MacDougall is also in the hunt individually.”
MacDougall is in the group starting on one tomorrow (March 10) and he’s paired with the leader after day one – host USF’s Albin Bergstrom. The Panthers will be starting on holes 1-4 as a team and are paired with golfers from USF, Lamar, and Michigan State for the final 18 holes. It will be a shotgun start once again, with the action getting underway at 9 a.m.