GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Felician University freshman Gonzalo Maldonado Felices (Almeria, Spain/Stella Maris) tied for seventh place out of 67 entrants at the Tusculum University Men's Golf Invitational, held on Saturday and Sunday at Link Hills Golf & Country Club.
Felician was participating in its first tournament of the spring semester. The Golden Falcons produced their best result relative to the field during their 2018-19 campaign, finishing fifth out of the 10 unique, complete teams that entered the event.
Felices turned in a top 10 result for the second time this season. He was also seventh (out of 45) at the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championship tournament on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
The par-71 course laid out at 6,763 yards. Felices signed for a 72 following Saturday's opening round and was backed by a 78 from junior transfer Prince Sukklabsawan (Si Racha, Thailand/Heritage Academy [S.C.]). The Golden Falcons shot 310 as a team on Day 1 (top four scores of five-man lineup) and sat in fourth place.
Following a 90-minute delay for frost, Felices and Sukklabsawan were again Felician's top performers on Sunday, each carding a five-over-par total of 76. Felices' 148 tied him for the fourth-best 36-hole tournament score in the 14-year history of the Golden Falcon program. Sukklabsawan's 154 (+12) left him in a tie for 19th place for the weekend.
Junior Jake Storako (Laurel Springs, N.J./Highland Regional) tied for 34th after shooting 79-80-159. Junior transfer Christian Lauchaire (Annandale, N.J./North Hunterdon) was one stroke behind Storako's pace, ending up with 81-79-160 and tying for 38th. Senior Justin Keiser (Bellport, N.Y./Bellport) rounded out Felician's lineup, tying for 50th (82-83-165).
NAIA member Milligan College passed the Golden Falcons on Sunday and finished fourth. The Buffaloes began the day one shot back of Felician and shot 304 to the Golden Falcons' 311. With a team tournament score of 621, Felician finished seven strokes ahead of sixth-place Franklin College.
Tusculum won the tournament with scores of 292-291-583 (+15), outpacing Walters State Community College by nine shots. Walters State's Alex Hodge easily took medalist honors. Hodge was the only player to break par. His -4 total of 66-72-138 was five strokes better than Tusculum's Jeff Perez.
With his performance, Felices made it a three-man race for Felician's scoring average lead. With all having played 14 rounds, Storako still leads the Golden Falcons with a stroke average of 77.00. However, Lauchaire carries a figure of 77.36 and Felices is now at 77.71.
Felician will play 36 holes in one day at the Charger Challenge, hosted by Dominican (N.Y.) College, on Mar. 25 in Berlin, Md.