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Senior James Johnson continues to lead at SoCon, but Bucs still five strokes back in team competition
Saturday, April 19, 2003STATESBORO, Ga. (April 19, 2003) - Senior James Johnson (Barbados) continued his strong play during the second round of the Southern Conference Championships Saturday at the Forest Heights Country Club, overcoming a triple bogey on No. 15 and tallying birdies on two of his remaining three holes to fire a 2-under-par 70.
Along with his 3-under-par score of 69 from the first round, Johnson still sits atop the individual leaderboard at 5-under. He leads Charleston's Bruce McDonald, who is four strokes back.
"I've got to really give James a lot of credit," said ETSU head coach Fred Warren. "He's put together two great rounds and he's put himself in position to win his first ever collegiate event. But this is a different position for James and he's never slept on a lead before."
Johnson's play once again powered the overall Buccaneer attack. Currently, ETSU trails front-running Georgia Southern by five strokes and second-place College of Charleston by three strokes. While Johnson is currently in first place (69-70=139 -5), sophomore Chase Baldwin (Plant City, Fla.) is tied for 14th (73-75=148 +4), sophomores Cennydd Mills (Cardiff, Wales) and Derek McNamara (Galway, Ireland) are both tied in 24th at 7-over, and sophomore Jeremy Hobson (Thonotosassa, Fla.) is tied for 41st at 12-over. Warren said the Bucs are still within striking distance to win their 17th SoCon title.
"It was a roller-coaster round for us today," Warren said. "We were solid on the front and made up a couple of shots on the lead, but we had an unusual backside with James' triple bogey for instance. Cennydd and Derek both played solid, but Jeremy is still struggling with his game. Chase had a rough start but played well on the back.
"If James continues to play well and we can play solid as a team, we still have a good shot at catching Georgia Southern."
Final round play at the SoCon Championships will begin at 8 a.m. Sunday.
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