Valianos, Sauls pace VWC golfers in season opener

WINCHESTER, Va. --Chris Valianos and Adam Sauls both finished among the top 20 golfers to lead Virginia Wesleyan College to a fourth-place finish in the Shenandoah University Fall Invitational.

The tournament marked the coaching debut of VWC's Phil Stewart, who saw his team put together a score of 625 (311/314) in a strong field of competitors.  Potomac State College of West Virginia, a DII team that has placed among the national 20 teams for three consecutive years, finished first with a 591 (298/293).

Valianos (Virginia Beach/Frank W. Cox), a sophomore, posted an impressive season start with a 146 (71-75) to tie for third place overall among 33 golfers.  His 71 on the first round was the second lowest score of the day, trailing only a 68 posted by Shenandoah's Derek Snarr. 

Sauls (Chesapeake, Va./Norfolk Christian), a senior, also had a solid first-tournament showing with a 154 (79-75) to placed 12th overall.  Rookie Stephen Claffy (Virginia Beach/Kempsville) placed 23rd for the Marlins with a 163 (82-81), followed by senior Mitch Green (Cordova, Md./St. Michael's) with a 165 (82-83), rookie Troy Katzer (Bay City, Texas/Bay City) with a 167 (79-88), and seniorMike Wiley (Virginia Beach/Bayside) with a 197.  Green placed 25th and Katzer 27th.

Potomac State All-American Chis Bushey was tournament medalist with a 144 (72-72), even par.  The competition was held at the Winchester Country Club, a par 72 course (6,367 yards).

Virginia Wesleyan competes again in the Tom Kinder Memorial Tournament, which begins on Saturday, Sept. 17, and ends on Monday, Sept. 19.  The tourney will be played on the Lakeview Golf Club course in Harrisonburg, Va.

Final team standings in the Shenandoah Invitational are as follows:
1. Potomac State (W.Va.) 591 (298/293); 2. Hampden-Sydney College 592 (297/295); 3. Shenandoah 620 (307/313); 4. VIRGINIA WESLEYAN 625 (311/3124); 5. Randolph-Macon College 641 (318/323).