Men's Golf Surges to Finish Second at Old Waverly|
April 8, 2014
The University of Cincinnati men’s golf team shot a third-round 8-under par 280 Tuesday to finish second behind tournament host Mississippi State at the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship at the Old Waverly Golf Club (par 72, 7,088 yards) in West Point, Miss.
Cincinnati’s 280 final-round score and three-round tournament score of 4-under 289-291-280=860 are its best of the spring season. The Bearcats entered the last round tied for fifth but finished second behind the Bulldogs, who ended at 5-under 296-282-281=859. The 15-team field included 11 teams ranked among the Top 100 in the nation according to GolfStat. UC entered the tournament ranked 12th among the field.
The Bearcats late run was keyed in part by junior Jared Howard (Dublin, Ohio/Jerome High School), who carded a career-best 5-under 67 during the final round to take fourth place with a spring season-best 5-under 72-72-67=211. He entered the third round tied for 14th place and was two over through nine holes, before posting birdies on seven of his next eight holes, including five in a row.
The result marked Howard’s third Top 5 finish of the year and his first since opening the spring season by tying for fifth at the Rice Intercollegiate (even par 216). He finished seven strokes behind tournament medalists Barrett Edens of Mississippi State (9-under 73-69-65=207) and Austin Peay’s Marco Iten (9-under 71-70-66=207).
“Jared got off to a slow start as we completed the second round in the morning,” UC head coach Doug Martin said. “But he kept playing and went crazy toward the end of the third round, made some putts and moved up the standings.”
Junior John Michael O’Toole (Pinson, Ala./Pinson Valley High School/Central Alabama CC) registered his top finish as a Bearcat, tying for seventh at 70-71-73=214. He completed 45 of 54 holes with par or better scores - including 11 birdies - during the event.
Sophomore Emerson Newsome (Dacula, Ga./Mill Creek High School) also made a big jump during the final round, posting a 2-under 70 to climb from a tie for 30th place to tying for 17th position at 1-over 73-74-70=217. He started 4-under through nine holes in the third round before finishing at 2-under. Five of his eight birdies in the tournament came during the final round.
Freshman Jared O’Kelley completed the tournament tied for 41st at six-over 74-74-74=222.
Junior Baxter Reeves, who had his first-round score of 3-under 69 thrown out due to a scorecard error, rebounded to registered a 2-over 74 in the second round and 2-under 70 during final-round play.
“I’m extremely proud of how the team responded to the adversity we faced on Monday,” Martin said. “It was a very difficult situation, but this is a group of fighters and we still had a chance to win the tournament coming down the stretch. We played well enough to win to the tournament.
“We should move up the national rankings because of our play here,” Martin said. “If we can go out and perform like we did today over the next few weeks we’ll have a chance to qualify for NCAA regionals. That would be a statement to the work put in by these players.”
Cincinnati returns to play this weekend when it participates in the Bluegrass Invitational, April 12-13 in Lexington, Ky. The Bearcats also are scheduled to take part in the American Athletic Conference Championship April 27-29 in Charleston, S.C.