Davies fires record 64
KNOXVILLE -- After one round at the Coca-Cola Tournament of Champions, ETSU sophomore Rhys Davies (Bridgend, Wales) needed something to brighten his day. He got just what he was hoping for in the form of blustery winds and rain, reminding him of his home back in Wales.
Braving the elements, Davies fired a remarkable 7-under-par 64 in the second round Monday at Holston Hills Country Club, setting a new tournament record and matching the ETSU record for low round. His efforts left Davies in a tie for second place on the individual leaderboard at 3-under for the tournament, and powered ETSU to a third-place finish on the team leaderboard heading into Tuesday's third and final round.
"To be honest, I was not playing well in the morning," said Davies, who is one stroke behind Georgia Southern's Aron Price for the individual lead. "When the wind and rain came in I really thought I could hold my score and I had a great finish. Having played so much in wind and bad weather, I knew how to allow for the wind and other conditions. I learned from those experiences and used that to my advantage."
Davies - whose round of 64 was bogey free and included seven birdies - enjoyed five-straight birdies to end his day and recovered from a tough 4-over 75 in the first round. The 64 matches the ETSU record for low round, which was set by Chris Wisler in the Golf World Invitational in the fall of 2000, and the 64 also broke former Buc Garrett Willis' Coca-Cola Tournament of Champions record of 66.
As a team, the Bucs are 7-over for the tournament, six strokes back of team-leading Tennessee, which is the host of the event. The Bucs are just two strokes back of second-place Alabama.
As for the rest of the Bucs, freshmen Cian McNamara (Limerick, Northern Ireland) and Gareth Shaw (Lisburn, Northern Ireland) both finished tied for 17th at 2-over for the day. Shaw's round was highlighted by a sub-70 round of 69. In addition, sophomore Steve Arnold (Langhorne, Pa.) finished tied for 37th and senior Cennydd Mills (Cardiff, Wales) finished tied for 71st.
"I'm really proud of our guys, especially with a young team comprised of two freshmen and two sophomores," said ETSU head coach Fred Warren. "It really seemed like the weather played to Rhys' strengths and it was a fun round to watch."
Third and final round play at Holston Hills will continue on Tuesday.