The Oglethorpe men's golf team posted a 4-over-par 284 Monday at the Smoke Rise Country Club in Stone Mountain, Georgia, besting their Day 1 score by 10 strokes at the Emory Spring Invitational. However, eighth-rated Huntingdon had an even better day, carding a 2-under 278 on the challenging course to pull away for a 6-stroke victory. The Stormy Petrels took their second consecutive runner-up finish, posting a score of 18-over 578 for the 2-day event, headed into the SAA Men's Golf Championship in 2-weeks' time.
The best performance by a Petrel actually came from freshman Jake Thomas, who performed as an individual at the event. He garnered a top 10 finish, firing a 1-over 71 on the day to finish at 4-over 144 for the tournament, good enough for a seventh-place tie, 11 strokes behind runaway individual medalist Addison Lambeth of Huntingdon, who finished seven strokes ahead of his closest competitor.
Among Oglethorpe's countable scores, freshman Patrick Mills came roaring back with a 2-under 68 on Monday to slice nine strokes off his first round score and move 27 spots up the leaderboard, tying for 11th. He posted a 2-round score of 5-over 145 and came in 12 back of the lead. Sophomore Colyn Petty had a good weekend and came in a stroke behind that in a tie for 15th, finishing at 6-over 146 after identical rounds of 3-over 73. Freshman Kyle Shealy joined Petty in the 15th-place tie, carding a second-round score of 5-over 75. Senior David Kleckner and freshman Jacob Arnett rounded out the Oglethorpe scorecard, tying for 18th with 7-over 147 over 36 holes. Kleckner came back with a 1-under 69 on Monday, slicing nine strokes off his Round 1 score and moving 21 spots up the leaderboard, while Arnett posted a 4-over 74 for the final round.
Senior Thomas Jeffries-Harrison also competed as an individual for the Petrels and moved 21 spots up the leaderboard himself on Monday with a 1-over 71. He finished tied for 27th at 10-over 150. Sophomore Jeffrey Alexander came in with a 6-over 76 on Monday to complete his 36 holes at 17-over 157 while sophomore Michael Sheahan recovered with a 3-over 73 to total 19-over 159 for the two days.
The Petrels finished six strokes ahead of No. 7 Rhodes for second place while No. 13 Emory, the tournament hosts, finished fourth, seven back of the Petrels. Sixth-ranked Wittenberg finished fifth, 13 back of Oglethorpe.
"We played pretty well over the course of the two days," said Oglethorpe Director of Golf Jim Owen, "but Huntingdon was just at another level today. We got to within three strokes on the back nine, but credit to them, they got their feet back under them and pulled away at the end. We surprisingly struggled a bit on the par 3s and we had too many double and triple bogeys, as well, which made coming back difficult. We did have five guys finish between 11th and 18th, which is very consistent. We're improving, but we'll need to step our game up one more level to win a conference championship in a couple weeks. The 284 we shot today is out third-lowest score of the year, but I think we're capable of going under 280."
The Petrels will now get prepared for the SAA Men's Golf Championship, which will take place at Old Fort Golf Course in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, April 22 through 24. The event will feature three of the top 10 teams in the nation according to both rankings, and four of the top 25 according to the Golfstat Relative Ranking.
First Round Recap
The Oglethorpe men's golf team put themselves in a 3-way tie for the lead after Round 1 at the Emory Spring Invitational at Smoke Rise Country Club in Stone Mountain, Georgia, Sunday, posting a 14-over-par 294 to equal Huntingdon and Emory for the lead headed into Monday's final round.
Freshman Kyle Shealy led the Petrels on the afternoon and put himself in a tie for fourth, just four strokes off the lead, with a 1-over-par 71 on the day. Sophomore Colyn Petty and freshman Jacob Arnett also finished Day 1 in the top 10, posting rounds of 3-over 73 to put themselves six strokes back of Huntingdon's Addison Lambeth, the individual leader after Day 1. Freshman Patrick Mills posted a 7-over 77 on the day to finish 38th, 10 back, while senior David Kleckner also placed himself in the top half of the field with an 8-over 78, putting him in a tie for 39th.
The Petrels had several players golfing as individuals, with freshman Jake Thomas coming in first among them, putting himself in the 10th-place tie featuring Petty and Arnett. Senior Thomas Jeffries-Harrison carded a first-round 9-over 79, while sophomore Jeffrey Alexander posted 11-over 81. Sophomore Michael Sheahan put up a first-round 86 to round out the Oglethorpe competitors.
Rhodes sits two strokes back of the 3-way tie in fourth while Guilford and Transylvania stand in a tie for fifth, five back.
The Petrels will look to secure their first tournament victory of the season Monday at the Smoke Rise Country Club. They'll tee off at 10 a.m., with the lead group getting started at 10:36.