The individual title at the Furman Intercollegiate came down to a battle between the first and second round leaders. Wofford’s Andrew Novak led the first round and Ryan Cornfield of USC Upstate led the second round.
The two golfers were on opposite sides of the Furman golf course most of the day, but right next to each other on the leader board. The two golfers spent the day battaling back and forth through the final nine holes.
Novak pulled even with Cornfield, who shot an 8 under par second round 64 with an eagle on his sixth hole and a birdie on his ninth hole.
Cornfield had an uneven final round making five birdies and four bogeys to enter the final three holes with Novak dead even.
“I didn’t do any scoreboard watching in the final round,” said Cornfield. “I knew how many good players were in this tournament and I knew anyone of them could beat me. I just wanted to stay aggressive and I didn’t want to know any other scores,” he said.
The two golfers got to their 16th holes when the tie was broken. Novak hit his approach shot wide of the green and then his pitch rolled past the pin all the way off the green,
He had to make a great up and down to record a bogey, but he lost a stroke to Cornfield who had parred his 16th hole.
Cornfield was able to make a birdie on his seventeenth hole, the par 5 second hole. At the same time Novak was unable to convert a 12 foot birdie putt on his seventeenth hole. Cornfield now held a two shot lead.
He finally wanted to know how he stood on the scoreboard as he got ready to hit his last tee shot. He asked his coach, Todd Lawton, who was with him most of the day to check on the scores.
“The green was driveable (his finishing hole was the par 4, 3rd hole), but when I found out I had a two shot lead I played it a little safe,” said the Spartan golfer.
Even playing it cautiously Cornfield added another birdie to his total to finish at 3-under par 69.
Novak had a 30 foot birdie attempt on his final hole that hit the cup and bounced out. He finished with a par to also complete his final round at 3-under par.
The win was the second college win for the Upstate senior from Dudley, England. He had a runner-up finish at the Mission Spring Spectacular in Florida.
“Last night was the longest night of my life. I had never slept on the lead before and I was antsy. I couldn’t wait to get to the golf course,” he said.
The Upstate senior’s three day total of 203 tied the tournament scoring record
Cornfield helped his team to a third place finish in the event. Upstate set team records for scoring at the 18, 36 and 54 hole marks.
“I felt like I could win this event before it started. I was confident, but I came out and double bogeyed the very first hole. I didn’t let it get me down and I played the next 53 holes at 15-under par,” said the winner.
Novak added his runner-up finish to his two victories in the spring. J.J. Gray of Georgia State was third, two shots behind Novak.
Georgia State won their third straight championship in the event. The Panthers finished 15 shots in front of Harvard for the win. Upstate was third, Akron was fourth and the home standing Paladins finished fifth.
Furman was led by Wehman Hopke who finished in a tie for 12th place at 4-under par and Preston Cole who tied for 17th.
Complete Scoring available at http://www.golfstat.com.
Categories: + College Golf