+ College Golf

Morgan, USC and Anderson all win

When the scores were counted from the first two rounds of three golf tournaments yesterday it looked very good for Furman’s Anna Morgan, the South Carolina Gamecocks and Anderson Trojans.

All three had leads and were in position to claim wins with a good final round.

All three played a good final round and all three have brought home championships, but a couple made it interesting before picking up their trophy.

Morgan shoots 4-under final round to win in Jacksonville

Furman’s Anna Morgan won the UCF Collegiate in Jacksonville, Florida

It was the Lady Paladin golfers third college win, but the tournament didn’t start out like it would end with a victory.

On the first tee, in the first round at the Jacksonville Country Club ,Morgan duck hooked her first drive into a hazard.

“I had been having a problem with “the lefts,” she said. “When I hit that shot I thought oh no not again,” recalled Morgan.

She scrambled to save a bogey and after that made 7 birdies without another bogey to share the first round lead with teammate Chloe Johnson.

Morgan’s first two rounds of 66 and 70 left her at 8 under par, with the lead going into the final round.

Anna Morgan (l) finished four shots in front of teammate Chloe Johnson to win the UCF Collegiate in Jacksonville. The victory was Morgan’s third college tournament title. (Furman photo)

The Furman senior’s final round 4-under par 68 gave her a 204 total and a 6-shot victory margin over Johnson.

Last year Morgan had a sensational spring that helped her secure some SoCon post season honors and also left her with a bar that was pretty high to match this season.

“I’m picky and my worst critic. I had not been pleased with the way I was hitting the ball this year,” she said.

Morgan opened the spring with a t-27 in Las Vegas and a 16th place finish last week at the Darius Rucker on Hilton Head Island.

“I found something in the last round at the Darius. I wasn’t hitting it great, but I was hitting it solid,” said Morgan.

A difficult driver could set the tone for a long day, but while Morgan had been disappointed with her drives, she had spent extra time working on her short game and putting.

“I still wasn’t hitting it the way I want, but my short game was so good, especially my putting, it saved me. I wasn’t hitting 18 greens, but I was able to capitalize on my short game when I needed it,” she said.

Last year’s Furman athlete of the year believes the win is just what she needed to play well the rest of the of the spring

“The win lets me feel better about my year compared to last year. I know I am a better golfer than I was last year and it was nice to finally show it,” concluded Morgan.

The Lady Paladins had their best finish since winning their own tournament in the fall, Furman was second behind Sam Houston State at the tournament in Jacksonville. (Furman Photo)

With Morgan and Johnson finishing first and second Furman had their best finish since winning the Lady Paladin Invitational back in the fall. Furman trailed only the tournament champions from Sam Houston State at the finish.

After the win, the team was spending an extra day in Florida before returning to Greenville, not to play golf, but to watch golf.

The Lady Paladins will spend a day at The Player’s Championship before returning home and then playing in Augusta at the Valspar Invitational on Saturday and Sunday.

Scores from the UNF Collegiate in Jacksonville https://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=player&tid=25865

Gamecocks win at the Palmetto Club

South Carolina won its second straight championship at the Palmetto Club in Aiken. Sophomore Nathan Franks had his best college finish challenging for the win before finishing as the runner-up. (USC Photo)

South Carolina was pressed during the final round of the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate, but held off the charge made by Furman to record their second straight win in the event.

The Gamecocks started the final round with what appeared to be a comfortable lead, but South Carolina drifted back to the pack early in the final round.

At one point the Gamecocks lead was just two shots over Furman and Wisconsin, but that must have sent a wake up call to the team because they played the back nine at 5-under par to earn some breathing room.

“Really proud of how this team came together this week,” said head coach Bill McDonald. “We battled throughout the tournament and hopefully this experience will help us going forward for the spring,” he said.

The Gamecocks got strong performance from Nathan Franks and Rafe Reynolds.

Franks eagled his first hole and went on to finish at even par for a share of second place, his best college finish.

Reynolds finished in sixth place and played his back nine at 3-under par to put some distance between the Gamecocks and the Paladins at the end of the tournament.

“Nathan (Franks) had a great chance to win and Rafe (Reynolds) had another really good showing. I’m happy for these guys to see their hard work paying off and we’re looking forward to The Hackler next week,” said McDonald.

The Gamecocks next play in Myrtle Beach at the Dunes Club starting on March 13 in the General Hackler championship.

Furman finished as the runner-up at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate. The Paladins previous best finish during the year was a third place finish at the Old Town Club Collegiate. (Furman Photo)

Furman recorded its best tournament finish of the year as the runner-up in AIken.

Freshman Harris Barth shot the low round for the Paladins carding a 4-under par 66 and finished eighth.

Walker Crosby also finished in the top-10 claiming ninth place.

Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate https://results.golfstat.com//public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=27276

Anderson wins 6th tournament this season.

The #1 ranked NCAA DII team in the country notched their sixth win of the season with a victory at the Bearcat Golf Classic played at the Greenwood Country Club. (Anderson Photo)

The Trojans had a 9-shot lead going into the final round, but a slow start by Anderson and a hot start by the host team from Lander cut the big lead to just 2-shots.

“I was impressed by the way our guys fought back after being down early yesterday.,” said Anderson’;s Director of Golf Danny Neal. “And early in the final round today we got off to a slow start and Lander closed the gap from nine to three which made things a bit tense,” he said.

The Bearcats and Clayton State took their shot, but the Trojans turned in a solid performance to regain momentum and end up winning by 4-shots.

“Throughout the final nine holes, our lead went back and forth between two and eight strokes or so, but we were able to hold them off with the help of a few birdies on our finishing holes,” added Neal.

Reece Coleman, Alejandro de Castro and Simon Wright each birdied their final holes to wrap up the win.

Not only have the Trojans been winning, a lot, this year, they have also been setting records.

This week the team set a school record with its two-round, 18-under 558 over the first 36 holes,

The Trojans have now won six of seven tournaments this year (fourth place in the only tournament they did not win) and while NCAA DII tournament invitations are some time off Anderson has established itself as a team deserving of a #1 seed in the South.

The Trojans finish the regular season starting on Monday, March 20th at the Tennessee River Rumble in Lenoir, Tennessee.

Linus Jonnson won a playoff for the individual title at the Bearcat Golf Classic played at the Greenwood Country Club. (Lander Photo)

The individual championship came down to a playoff between Lander’s Linus Jonsson and Wingate’s Nick Fleming.

Jonnson shot a final round 3-under par 69 to earn one spot in the playoff.

Fleming started the final round in 10th place, but carded a 6-under par 66 for the best final round total and a spot in the playoff.

Jonnson won the title with a birdie on the first playoff hole, the par 5 18th hole at Greenwood.

The Bearcats also placed first round leader Edward Rahm in the top-10 with a tie for third.

Lander finished second with Clayton State in third place.

Lander will next play in the Bobcat Invitational in Eattonton, Georgia starting on March 20th.

Bearcat Classic scores https://results.golfstat.com//public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=25876

Clemson finishes last at Pinehurst

It was first to worst in a year for Clemson at the Wake Forrest Invitational played on the legendary Pinehusrt #2 course.

Last year with eventual ACC Champion Jacob Bridgeman away at PGA Canada Qualifying, the Tigers won the championship by 16 shots and Colby Patton and Zach Gordon shared medalist honors.

This year the Tigers best individual performance was turned in by Andrew Swanson who finished 28th.

The next best Clemson score belonged to Thomas Higgins, playing as an individual entrant, Higgins finished tied for 30th.

Tiger golfers only carded one under par round in the tournament won by UNC Greensboro.

The Southern Conference team finished 10 shots in front of Northwestern and 12 shots in front of Virginia.

Individually SMU’s Nathan Petronzio finished with a 207 total to claim medalist honors by 3 shots.

Clemson will next play in the Linger Longer Invitational in Reynolds, Georgia starting on March 19th.

Scores from the Wake Forest Invitational https://results.golfstat.com//public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=27519

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