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Smallwood Leading Eagles at Marlins Invitational

seth smallwood walks down the fairway

AHOSKIE, N.C. - On a blustery day that saw high scores at Beechwood Golf Club in Ahoskie, North Carolina, freshman Seth Smallwood shot 78 to lead the Eagles in the first round of the Marlins Invitational. The Bridgewater team total of 324 put them in fourth place among nine teams after the opening round.

Smallwood, a former standout at Broadway High School, led the squad for the first time in his short career and only missed his collegiate low-round by a shot. "Seth has been creeping his way up the team roster," noted head coach John Rogers,"and he was feeling good after the practice round yesterday."

Smallwood opened the day with a birdie on his first hole (the par-5 10th hole), He added birdies on his 12th and 17th holes, and also made a tough up-and-down par save on his sixth hole from behind the green. He is in a tie for sixth place in a field of 53 players.

Senior Eugene Dillon is filling a crucial role for the second straight tournament. After a 10th-place finish in the season-opening event at Hilton Head, Dillon shot 80 in the first round on Saturday to sit in the 11th spot. He credited good control from the tee box with his solid performance.

Junior Ronald Uszenski shot 82 and sophomore Brendan Draughn followed up with an 84 to close out the team score. Draughn was pleased with his ball-striking on Saturday, but felt that he missed in the wrong spots when approaching the fast-rolling, domed greens at Beechwood Country Club.

"Scores were high today across the field," said Rogers. "I think most of the guys were having a little trouble controlling the trajectory and spin of their shots today, then the wind aggravated things, and the domed greens punished even relatively small misses."

Sophomore Jason Spaar posted an 85 in the first round, and senior Michael Gruver shot 92 playing as an individual.

Averett leads the tournament after a team total of 309. The Eagles enter the final round just five shots out of second place, chasing Pfeiffer and Randolph Macon. Play resumes at 9:30 Sunday morning.