Originally created 04/02/00

Jags take 3-shot tourney lead



Between rounds Saturday, Jay Seawell traded hats with Jack Doherty.

For good luck, Doherty wore Seawell's blue cap while the Augusta State golf coach donned the freshman's white ASU bucket hat.

It worked.

After an opening-round 1-under 287, the two-time defending tournament champion Jaguars fired a 279 in the afternoon round for a 10-under 566 to lead the 22nd annual Cleveland GolfASU Invitational at Forest Hills Golf Course by three shots over North Carolina State.

Rhode Island and Duke are five shots back at 571, while Tennessee is seven shots off the pace.

"The boys played well," Seawell said. "I don't know if I conveyed the message, but I told them to just play golf and go out and have fun."

In individual competition, defending champion Jamie Elson of Augusta State is tied with the College of Charleston's Jedd McLuen at 7-under-par 137. Wofford's William McGirt is one shot back at 138, while N.C. State's Marc Turnesa is at 139. Texas' Matt Brost and Augusta's Robert Duck are tied at 140.

After an opening-round 72, Duck sparked his afternoon round with a 35-foot eagle putt on No. 3. After a bogey on No. 4, the Jaguar junior made four straight birdie putts eight feet or less on Nos. 9-12 to go 5-under.

"I just converted putts in the afternoon," Duck said. "I probably hit the ball better in the morning."

Elson had the only score under par for Augusta State in the morning round with a 67. He was even par on his afternoon round through nine holes. However, the Jaguars sophomore made birdies on Nos. 11 and 13 for a second-round 70.

"I was happy with this morning's score," Elson said. "But this afternoon, I just screwed up a couple of holes."

After a first-round 79, Augusta's

Michael Webb carded a 71 while Wilson had rounds of 74-70. The Jaguars' afternoon round tied the tournament record for lowest round, while its two-round total tied the record they set last year.

"I don't guess there's any pressure in the defending part," Seawell said. "You always want to do well at home. This is a golf tournament, and competitive juices flow."

Former Augusta State golf coach Jim Kelson watched his Tennessee team shoot an opening round 280 to lead the tournament by one shot. However, the Volunteers went 293 in the second round.

"I was disappointed with the afternoon round," Kelson said. "We dropped some shots coming in. But as long as we're in striking distance, who knows?"

After a two-year absence, Kelson was greeted with a new-look Forest Hills course in his return. According to club pro Robbie Watson, two inches of rough was allowed to grow since October.

"It wasn't that much of a factor," Kelson said. "The course, they've done a fabulous job with it."

Furman's Brian Scurlock lead a group of former area golfers with a 144. Wake Forest's Cortland Lowe is at 148, while Furman's David Sligh is at 151.

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 868-1222 .0]cag112@hotmail.com