The Oglethorpe men's golf team recovered very well from a rocky first day at the Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational this weekend, playing excellent golf over the remaining two days at the Jekyll Island Golf Club and finishing tied for second overall, four strokes back of champions Greensboro, after posting a 7-over-par 295 for the day and a 15-over 879 for the tournament as a whole.
In the process, sophomore Jacob Arnett earned his first career individual medal, enjoying the best tournament of his career so far. He shot 1-under 71 on Sunday to secure the victory, coming back from 22nd at the end of play on Friday with rounds of 4-under 68 and 71 to finish the tournament at 4-under 212, a stroke ahead of a second-place tie between Huntingdon's Addison Lambeth and Greensboro's Grant Powell. He becomes the first Oglethorpe golfer to win an individual medal at Jekyll Island since Taylor Urbanski in 2007.
The Petrels as a team came back from an opening-round 300 to put up rounds of 4-under 284 and 295, moving into a second-place tie with Huntingdon and Methodist.
Fellow sophomore Patrick Mills joined Arnett in the top five, posting a 2-under 70 on the day, his second straight round at that mark, to finish at 2-under 214 for the tournament, putting him two back of Arnett in fourth place. Mills improved on his opening-round 2-over 74 with the consecutive 2-under-par performances. He fired a double eagle on the par-5 seventh hole Sunday, holing out from 185 yards away, then eagled the 15th later in the round, meaning he played those two par-fives at 5-under-par.
Freshman Kenny Park finished third among Petrels, posting a 4-over 76 on the day to finish at 9-over 225 for the tournament, tied for 43rd. Sophomore Kyle Shealy carded a 6-over 78 on the day to come in at 12-over 228, tied for 59th. Meanwhile, sophomore Jake Thomas rounded out the Oglethorpe scorecard with a 7-over 79 on Sunday, putting him at 17-over 233 for the tournament.
Emory dropped to fifth on Sunday, coming in seven strokes behind Greensboro, while LaGrange, Washington and Lee, Illinois Wesleyan, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Rhodes rounded out the top 10.
"We started slowly and impatiently on Friday," said Oglethorpe director of golf Jim Owen, "but then came roaring back over the next two days with a better plan and we let our game speak for itself, I thought. I want this team to become a team that has a chance to win every time out. We're still learning how to do that, but we've had consecutive top three finishes to open the spring, so hopefully we'll be able to keep that going at Camp Lejeune."
"I'm so proud of Jacob Arnett for winning his first individual medal," Owen continued. "Outside of the NCAA Championship, he'll never beat a tougher field than the one he beat this week. He started the tournament with a double bogey, but had the maturity and toughness to play the next 53 holes at 6-under-par to secure his first win. Mills was outstanding, as well, carding both an eagle and a double eagle today. His play was outstanding all week."
The Petrels will next take to the course March 31 through April 2, when they travel to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for the Marine Federal Credit Union Intercollegiate Golf Championship.
Second Round Recap
The Oglethorpe men's golf team had an outstanding second round at the Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational Saturday, posting an impressive 4-under-par 284, the best team round of the entire tournament so far, to vault nine spots up the leaderboard into a second-place tie at 8-over 584 over the event's first 36 holes at Jekyll Island Golf Club on the Georgia coast. The Stormy Petrels stand tied with defending national champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for second place, with the pair finishing the day just two strokes behind leader Emory.
In addition, sophomore Jacob Arnett vaulted up the leaderboard himself on Saturday, moving into a tie for the lead. He improved his Day 1 position by 20 spots after posting a 4-under 68 at the Pine Lakes course and sits tied with Huntingdon's Addison Lambeth and Illinois Wesleyan's Drew Pershing at 3-under 141 for the tournament. The trio finds themselves a stroke ahead of a 4-way tie for second.
Fellow sophomore Patrick Mills also had an excellent round, posting a 2-under 70 to move 17 spots up the leaderboard and grab a spot in the top 10. He sits tied for 10th at even-par 144 after two rounds, three back of the first-place tie. Freshman Kenny Park enjoyed a very solid round, as well, putting up a 1-over 73 to move 19 spots up the leaderboard. He enters Sunday's final round in a tie for 34th at 5-over 149. Meanwhile, sophomore Kyle Shealy joined the group of Petrels moving quickly up the leaderboard, posting a 1-over 73 of his own to finish the day at 6-over 150 for the tournament, coming in tied for 42nd. Sophomore Jake Thomas rounded out the Oglethorpe scorecard and moved 26 spots up the leaderboard himself after posting a 2-over 74, putting himself at 10-over 154 for the tournament, tying him for 79th.
The Petrels and Claremont-M-S sit two strokes ahead of Washington and Lee and three ahead of a tie between Illinois Wesleyan and Greensboro. Huntingdon, Hampden-Sydney, LaGrange, Rhodes and Methodist rounded out the top 10.
The Petrels will get back to action on Sunday morning with the tournament's final round, where they'll look to overtake Emory for the tournament title. Oglethorpe is set to start their round at 9:40 a.m. on the Pine Lakes course at Jekyll Island Golf Club.
First Round Recap
The Oglethorpe men's golf team fired a 12-over-par 300 Friday at the Jekyll Island Golf Club, as they began the Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational in 11th place after 18 holes at the Pine Lakes course. The Stormy Petrels currently sit 13 strokes back of leader Washington and Lee, who sat 1-under through 14 holes when darkness suspended play.
The Petrels completed all 18 holes of their first round, but a handful of teams remained on the Pine Lakes course when darkness fell Friday evening. A 2-hour frost delay at the morning's outset meant that the first group did not tee off until 10 a.m. A few of the groups were only through 11 holes when play was suspended due to darkness on Friday. The remaining groups will complete their first-round play early Saturday morning.
Sophomore Jacob Arnett led the Petrels on the day, posting a 1-over 73 and coming in tied for 22nd, four strokes back of individual leader Addison Lambeth of Huntingdon. Fellow sophomore Patrick Mills carded a 2-over 74 to finish the day tied for 29th, five back of the lead. Freshman Kenny Park ended his afternoon tied for 59th after posting a 4-over 76, while sophomore Kyle Shealy finished the day tied for 71st after a 5-over 77. Sophomore Jake Thomas rounded out the Oglethorpe scorecard with an 8-over 80.
The Petrels are scheduled to tee off at 9:30 a.m. at the Pine Lakes course on Saturday, though that could be pushed back depending on how long it takes to complete the entirety of Round 1.