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February 26, 2014

Bulldogs take runner-up hardware at Irish Creek

by Kevin Buczek

KANNAPOLIS, N.C.-Senior Nicolas Fonseca and Micah Lawrence posted a pair of top-10 individual finishes in leading the Barton College men's golf team to a tie for second place finish in the Irish Creek Intercollegiate hosted by Pfeiffer University on Monday and Tuesday.

The Bulldogs finished three shots behind Newberry College for the team title in the 18-team field. The Wolves produced a 36-hole total of 291-295—586. A trio of Conference Carolinas institutions followed in a tie for third at 289 (+21) in Barton, Limestone College and Erskine College. BC was awarded the runner-up plaque by tiebreaker with the best score by its fifth player.

Fonseca maintained his consistently excellent play from the fall with rounds of 71 and 73 on the 7,099-yard, par-71 Davis Love III layout. Fonseca tied for third place and his two round total of two-over 144 was just two shots behind first place.

Fonseca has posted top-15 finishes in all four tournaments he has played during his senior season and leads the Bulldogs with a 72.8 scoring average.

Lawrence made nine birdies in his two rounds, the second most in the tournament, and placed just one shot behind Fonseca in a tie for sixth. Lawrence's total of 72-73—145 is a new 36-hole personal best.

Junior Austin Doerr notched his fourth consecutive top-20 finish with a sum of 72-77—149. Doerr tied for 19th.

Freshman Kyle Gaster (77-75—152) and senior Dermot McElhennon (76-78—154) each provided one counting scorecard for Barton. Gaster tied for 28th and McElhennon tied for 35th as all five Bulldogs finished in the top half of the 96-player field.

The lakeside golf course yielded a tournament scoring average of 78.84 with Barton posting all 10 of its rounds below that mark. The Bulldogs were able to sink 28 birdies, which led all 18 teams.

Fonseca played the par 4s at level par but a late double bogey on the hardest handicap hole on the course – the 479-yard, par-4 16th hole – cost him a share of the individual medalist honors.

Thomas Rowland (70-73), who was playing as an individual for NCAA Division I UNC Charlotte, won a playoff against John White (72-71) of Lenoir-Rhyne University to secure the individual championship.

Barton quickly turns around to play in the Echo Farms Intercollegiate hosted by Mars Hill University in Wilmington, N.C., on Saturday-Sunday, March 1-2.