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Eagles carry 10 stroke lead into final round

By By Fredie Carmichael/Special to The Star 
April 25, 2001
It might have been wet at Pine Belt National in Hattiesburg on Tuesday for the first round of the Region 23 golf tournament, but it wasn't wet enough to put out Meridian Community College's fire as the Eagles torched the field in the soggy conditions to lead by 10 shots. The Eagles posted a first-round score of 310 and are in the driver's seat with 18-holes to go.
Mississippi Gulf Coast is in second place at 320, Pearl River is three shots back at 323 and defending champion Hinds Community College is in fourth at 329. East Mississippi Community College in sixth place after the first day with a 339.
Individually, it was Devin Davis following King's 76 with an 83, Josh Crowe carded an 86 while Bo Blackledge and Keith Faulkner both chipped in with a 96.
Following MCC's Luke (74) and Stewart (76), Brandon Laird had a 79, Jamie Sullivan ended with an 81 and Cameron Hunt added an 83.
Although MCC heads into today's round with a comfortable lead, Hart doesn't want her players to play to protect the lead. "We could realistically have our top four guys give up two shots each and still win the tournament by two (strokes)," Hart said. "But if we were to play like that then we'd probably surely lose. I told our guys to play like it was even. If we keep plugging away good things are bound to happen for us."
The Eagles tee it up at 8:50 this morning as they try to regain the Region 23 crown after a one-year hiatus.