Georgia Southwestern; USCA’s Welborn Win at Kiawah
KIAWAH ISLAND, SC – The 2011-12 men’s golf season
got off to a great start for the Peach Belt Conference as Georgia
Southwestern won the team title at the Kiawah Island Invitational
while USC Aiken’s Tyler Welborn captured the individual
crown. PBC teams took the top three spots in the
season-opening event, played at the 6,875-yard, par 72 Cougar Point
course at Kiawah and hosted by USC Aiken. USCA as a team took
second place while Armstrong Atlantic State was third.
Georgia College finished sixth and North Georgia 10th in the
Southwestern finished three strokes ahead of host USC Aiken, ranked 18th in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf Coaches NCAA D-II Poll, and eight shots ahead of 19th-ranked Armstrong Atlantic. J.P. Griffin led the Hurricanes and finished runner-up in the 85-player field with a 4-under 140. GSW placed three golfers in the top seven. Nate Gahman, an All-PBC Second Team selection last spring, moved up five spots from his Day 1 position to finish sixth after firing his second consecutive par 72 at Cougar Point Golf Course. Craig Gibson tied for seventh with a 1-over 145 total. Freshman Travis Oestermann didn't bother with a bounce or a roll on the sixth hole Tuesday, catching an ace on the fly en route to his 81. Oestermann finished the tourney with a 164 total. Chris Hall carded a two-round 162.
For USC Aiken, Welborn posted a final two-round tally of 5-under 139 (68-71) to best Griffin (140) by one stroke. The two entered the final round of play tied after carding 68s in the first round of action. Welborn’s 71 in the second round bested Griffin’s 72 in round two, allowing Welborn to secure individual medalist honors. Three Pacers finished in the top 15 in total as Matt Atkins concluded the tournament in 12th at 148 (75-73), while Mark Dickson tied for 14th at 149 (75-74) with six others.
Armstrong senior Matt Motes shot a one-over-par 73 to finish tied for 12th with a 147 total, leading the Pirates individually. Freshman Cory Griffin shot the day's best round for the Pirates, a two-under-par 70, to finish tied for 14th with a 149 total in his Pirate debut, while juniorTyler Erickson shot a 79 to also finish with a two-day 149 total, tying for 14th. Senior Dustin Allen shot an 80 to finish tied for 33rd with a two-day 153 total. Sophomore Travis Williamson rounded out the Armstrong scoring on Tuesday, shooting a second-day 75 to finish tied for 35th with a 154 total.
With All-Conference honoree Patrick Garrett leading the way in 12th, the No. 14 Georgia College golf squad took sixth. The Bobcats started the 2011-12 season with rounds of 296 and 308 to finish at plus-28. Garrett was consistent with a pair of 74s for four-over par. Freshman Victor Monte was a stroke back in 14th after rounds of 72 and 77. Junior Taylor Smith shot an 81 today to go with yesterday’s 73 for 10-over in 35th. Newcomer Bryan Fox shaved five strokes off with a 76 today, finishing 47th at 13 over, while freshman Ryan Trocchio shot a 77 and 83 for plus-16 and 60th.
North Georgia ended their opening tournament of the 2011 season with a 10th place finish. As a team, North Georgia shot 39-over-par 615 (313-202). The Saints finished four shots behind ninth place USC Beaufort and three strokes ahead of 11th place Coker College. North Georgia was one of only four teams in the 17-team field to improve on their opening round score. The 11-stroke improvement was the tops in the second day. Amongst unfavorable, windy conditions, senior Howard Duffin finished the event with a one-under-par 143 (70-73) in a three-way tie for third place, just four stokes off the pace set by individual winner Taylor Welborn from USC Aiken.
Jake Martin improved his opening round score by 10 strokes firing an even-par 72 to finish the event with a 10-over-par 154 (82-72), which was good enough to finish in a tie for 35th place. Matt Rochlin was another one of the Saints who improved his second round score. Rochlin shot a four-over-par 76, an eight shot improvement from his opening round 84, to finish the Kiawah Invitational with a 16-over-par 160 (84-76), finishing in a tie for 60th place. Grant Rish followed his opening 82 with an 81 leaving him with a 19-over-par 163 (82-81) to finish in a tie for 67th place.