PETERSBURG, Va. - - Following the first two rounds of The Griffin Invitational, the Wilmington University golf team is in 11th overall, shooting rounds of 310 and 299 at the Country Club of Petersburg on Monday afternoon.
The Wildcats' 609 two-round score is good enough for a +33. Palm Beach Atlantic leads the tournament after the first day as being the only team under par, shooting a 283-281 for a 564 (-12). Barton and host Saint Leo are tied for second with a two-round score of 582 (+6).
Freshman Tyler Cleaves' back-nine in the first round allowed him to get back to even par, sinking three birdies to be even-par through 17 holes played. But his 18th hole, the par five 11th, got away from him, as he finished the round with a 75 (+3) to lead the Wildcats. Cleaves then started fast in the second round, going three-under through the first seven holes. He was still at three under through the first nine holes, but he triple-bogeyed the par four third to get back to even. He was able to sink a birdie on the par-five 11th, finishing his round with a 73 (+1). HE is in a tie for 26th overall at +4 for the tournament.
Fellow freshman Ali Ladak is the second Wildcat on the leaderboard, coming in at tied for 45th overall with a 153 (+9). A double-bogey on his second hole of the day got the freshman off to a slow start, but he was able to sink a birdie on the par four first to get back to three-over par. He would finish the first round with a 78 (+6). A pair of birdies in the second round brought the freshman back to two-over par, but a bogey on No. 9 ended his second round with a 75 (+3).
Braden McKay is the third Wildcat on the leaderboard, finishing the first round with two birdies and a 77 (+5) before three more birdies came in the second round. He also finished the second round at 77 (+5) for a 154 (+10) for the day. He is in a tie for 48th overall.
Enrique Valverde improved from round one by five strokes, finishing the day with scores of 80-75 for a 155 (+11) and in a tie for 50th overall. Valverde got off to a slow start in the first round and had trouble recovering for his 80 (+8). A stretch of four birdies in six holes in round two brought Valverde back to one-over par, but a double bogey on the par-five seventh brought him in to a 75 (+3) for round two.
Arvy Shongwe rounded out the Wildcat scorers, posting scores of 80-78 for a 158 (+14) and is in a tie for 59th overall. A pair of birdies early in the first round had the senior to one-under par, but six bogeys and a double-double had Shongwe finish with an 80 (+8). Shongwe posted 10 pars in round two, and sank a birdie putt on the par four 8th to get to four-over par. HE finished the round with back-to-back bogeys to come in with a 78 (+6) in round two.
The Wildcats have three individuals playing the course as well, and Jack Dixon posted the best first round by any Wildcat with a 74 (+2). The senior was at four-over par through the first six holes, but recovered to hit birdies on holes nine, 11, and 13 to get back to one-over. A bogey on the par three 16th closed out his round at 74 (+2). After eight pars through the first 10 holes in round two, Dixon final stretch failed him, as he came in with an 81 (+9) in his second round. He is in a tie for 50th overall with a 155 (+11).
Matthew Kettleson is also in a tie for 50th overall with a 155 (+1), shooting rounds of 79 and 76. Kettleson had 10 pars in the first round and 13 more in the second round. Nathan Potts rounded out the Wildcats on the course on Monday, shooting rounds of 84 and 85 for a 169 (25).
Palm Beach Atlantic's Martin Westerlund leads the tournament with amazing rounds of 65-69 for a 134 (-10). He leads Concordia's Minwoo Park and teammate Jacob Shamblin by seven strokes going into the final round.
The Wildcats will tee off starting at 8:30 on Tuesday, finishing out the tournament with the third and final round from the Country Club of Petersburg.