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Dillon Leads Eagles in Williamsburg

eugene dillon takes a fairway shot

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The Bridgewater men's golf team completed the first round of the Glenn Heath Memorial tournament at Williamsburg Golf Club on Monday. The day after severe weather passed through the area, the Eagles battled through high winds and wet course conditions to post a team score of 322, led by senior Eugene Dillon whose 77 has him in seventh place at the half-way mark.

On a day when most of the field struggled to figure out the combination of slick, undulated greens and wind, Dillon putted very well (only one three-putt) and he was pleased to never make worse than a bogey. He managed to birdie two of the par-5 holes, and also rolled in a 25-footer from the fringe on #15 for birdie, but on a personal level he was happiest with a par on hole #1 (his final hole after a shotgun start); in his three previous trips to Williamsburg Golf Club, Dillon had stumbled every time on the opening hole, including a quintuple-bogey his freshman year. On Saturday he looked to be in trouble again after his tee shot went wide-right almost into the bordering fairway; he had no choice but to punch a shot back into his own fairway, leaving 82-yards into the tricky green. This time Dillon hit a wedge shot under the wind and then dropped his 6-footer for some sweet revenge.

"EJ has played an important role for us this spring," said head coach John Rogers. "We need his experience on a day like today when conditions are tough." Dillon's score of five over par has him in seventh place among 69 players.

Sophomore Brendan Draughn was the second Eagle to break 80 on Saturday. He continued a recent trend of solid ball-striking and hitting greens en route to a 79 that claimed a share of 13th place. Draughn built some early momentum when he chipped in on his opening hole (#4) for a birdie. He added a second birdie on the par-5 16th hole.

Junior Ronald Uszenski shot 82 to post the third score for Bridgewater. He narrowly missed an eagle putt on the par-5 4th hole, and saved par with some brilliant wedge-play on the 3rd and 16th holes.

Sophomore Jason Spaar, coming off a stretch of four rounds that were cumulatively under par, was frustrated on the challenging greens at Williamsburg Golf Club, but still posted the fourth score for the Eagles. His 84 has him in a tie for 32nd.

Freshman Seth Smallwood likewise had nine three-putts on Saturday and posted an 88.

Freshman Blake Sawyer, playing with a hometown gallery, shot 87 as an individual. Sawyer controlled his tee ball in the wind by using a 3-wood most of the round and he posted a solid score of 40 on the front nine.

After the first round the Eagles are in fifth place among nine teams, but are only four strokes behind the second-place team of Virginia Wesleyan. Randolph Macon claimed the first-round lead with a score of 305.

"The shotgun was delayed today because the course was so wet, and we knew the winds were going to blow," noted Rogers. "So we knew it would be tough to shoot our average score. Generally we hit the ball well enough to score well, but the greens got the better of us. But we are still in a good spot to place near the top of the board, and these guys won't quit."

The final round of the Glenn Heath Memorial starts at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.