MORGANTOWN - A trio of Fairmont State players shot 77 in tough walking conditions at the Lakeview "Old Course" Monday afternoon during the first round of the Davis & Elkins Senator Shootout. Senior Justin Stambaugh, Jess Ferrell and Tyler Hartzell went down different roads to net the 5-over par rounds, while transfer Isaiah Simon carded a 79 for a first round team score of 310 to sit in fifth place after the first round.
"Walking Lakeview is no easy task," said coach Doug Comer. "The weather was hot and humid, the ground was wet from the recent rain showers and it was a physical challenge to close out the round because of the mental stress the course adds. I just told the kids to take advantage of their opportunities when given and to play patiently when things aren't comfortable. I am real proud of their drive."
After nine holes of play, Stambaugh was the low player on the team with a even par 36. Ferrell struggled early and was 3-over after six holes, but bounced back to finish with a 38. Hartzell, who was one-under par early in his round, had a little trouble on the par-5 seventh and rounded out the front nine with a 38. Simon hit some bumps in the road and tallied a 42 a the turn, but closed with a 1-over 37 on the back to shoot 79.
"I was really impressed with Simon's back nine," said Comer. "The kid could've gave up on the round and limped home. However, he mentally got stronger as the course got tougher and that impressed me most. He had two opportunities to make par or birdie, but he got a little too aggresive and it cost him with two bogeys. I hope he learns from his mental errors and corrects them. He will shave some shots in doing so."
"We have some work to do tomorrow. We are well behind IUP, but I know that we can make up at least seven shots tomorrow by changing our course management gameplan. I think in order to finish in the top three we have to have some teams fall back while we improve. It sounds simple on paper, but it is very attainable. I expect a strong showing tomorrow."
Greg Loss had shot 83 for FSU.
Tee times start at 8:30 am today.