There is no time to mess around for senior athletes. For senior golfers, they need to make every shot count because with each stroke they are closer to the end of their college career.
Idaho senior Aaron Cockerill has made every shot count in the first two rounds of the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Invitational Monday in Aiken, South Carolina.
“There’s a different look in his face this spring when he finally made the decision he’s going to play professional golf, because it’s different,” Idaho coach John Means said. “Every day’s really important.”
The senior from Stony Mountain, Manitoba, hits the pillow tonight in second place after carding a 7-under-par 133.
“Tomorrow’s going to be a big round for him obviously,” Means said. “He’s playing against some of the top individuals in the country in this event.”
Cockerill is one stroke off the leader, Georgia Southern’s Scott Wolfes. Cockerill fired a 66 in the first round and a 67 in the second.
Four players are tied for third place with a score of 6-under-par134. The invite will conclude Tuesday.
“We’ve been working a lot actually on Aaron’s mental game because he’s going to turn professional at the end of this year,” Means said. “So we’ve been working a lot on that. He’s trying to get each shot to be the most important thing in the whole world and he was able to do this in Palm Desert for two rounds.”
As a team, Idaho will head into day two tied for fifth with Georgia Regents. Both schools shot 278 in the first round and 281 in the second for a combined 1-under-par 559.
Golfweek.com’s No. 14-ranked South Carolina leads the 18-team invite with a 14-under-par 546, followed by second-place Clemson with a 13-under-par 547, third-place and No. 24 Virginia with an 8-under-par 552 and fourth-place Kennesaw State with a 2-under-par 558.
Means said South Carolina and Clemson are unbelievably talented.
“Our goal coming here was being able to compete with Clemson and South Carolina,” Means said.
Idaho sophomore’s Jared du Toit and Ryan Porch are tied for 23rd after finishing the day with an even-par 140. Junior Rylee Iacolucci is tied for 58th after shooting 6-over-par 146 and freshman Ian Kim is tied for 73rd with a 9-over-par 149.
The Cleveland Golf Palmetto marks the second invite of the spring season for Idaho. The Vandals took ninth at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate last month in Palm Desert, California.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at email@example.com