GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s golf team posted its best 54-hole score in program history to lift the No. 66 ranked Spartans to a third place showing in the USF Invitational Tuesday at the Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club. The Spartans’ impressive showing saw them defeat six teams ranked in the Top 60 including No. 7 Illinois, No. 23 Auburn, No. 35 Mercer, No. 36 Purdue, No. 37 Memphis and No. 59 Ohio State.
UNCG finished the three-day event with a program-record score of 838, surpassing the previous 54-hole record by seven strokes (845) set in 2006-07 at the Sam Hall Invitational. The Spartans opened the tournament with a then program-record 275 Sunday, followed that up with a 290 in round two before breaking their round one record Tuesday with a 273, moving up three spots in the standings. The 15-under par team score in round three is the fourth lowest team score of the weekend overall. Florida State won the team title with an 823 (275-284-264) while host USF was second with a 833 9281-269-283).
Junior Roy Dixon (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) and freshman Carter Jenkins (Raleigh, N.C./Athens Drive) led the way as they finished tied for 11th overall with 7-under par 209 scores. Their 209 scores are tied for ninth lowest 54-hole scores in UNCG history. UNCG was one of just three teams with multiple players finishing it the top 11, joining Florida State and South Florida. Jack Maguire of FSU won the individual title with a 16-under par 200 as he posted a record 10-under par 62 in the final round to come from behind for the victory.
Dixon opened the event with a program-record score of 9-under par 63 Sunday. He followed that up with a 3-over par 75 in round two before finishing it off with a 1-under par 71 Tuesday as he posted four birdies on the day. He finished the 54-hole event with 14 birdies, an eagle, eight bogeys and 31 pars. His 209 scored is a career-low for Dixon, improving seven shots on his previous mark of 216 set earlier this year at the VCU Shootout.
Jenkins made the slow climb up the leader board all weekend, improving his score each round. He opened with an even-par 72 Sunday, followed that up with a 2-under par 70 in round two before carding his best score of the event with a 5-under par 67. His 209 score is his second-lowest 54-hole score of his career, only trailing his 203 score set at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate where he won the event. Additionally, his third round score of 67 is the third lowest round of his young career.
Jenkins has now finished in the top 11 in five of his first seven events of his career. He posted 14 birdies, two eagles, seven bogeys, two double bogeys and 29 pars during the 54-hole event this week.
Sophomore Taylor Coalson (Dobson, N.C./North Surry) made the biggest move of the day for the Spartans in the third and final round, climbing 30 spots on the leader board with a career-how 6-under par 66. Coalson posted six birdies and 12 pars in his clean final round to finish 3-under par 213 overall for the tournament (74-73-66). His score of 66 is the lowest of his career; one shot better than his 67 carded this year at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate.
Freshman Jake McGlone (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Latin) finished tied for 44th overall with a 1-over par 217. McGlone opened the weekend with a 1-under par 71, followed that with an even-par 72 and finished with a 2-over par 74. His 217 score is the second-lowest of his career, just two shots off his career-best score of 215 set at the VCU Shootout.
Junior Alex Ehlert (Raleigh, N.C./Athens Drive) carded his second 3-under par 69 score of the weekend, matching his mark from Sunday. He posted six birdies and three bogeys Tuesday in the solid performance. He had his second round score disqualified for an incorrect scorecard signing.
The USF Invitational features 17 total teams, including seven ranked in the top 50 in the nation. Joining the No. 64 Spartans in the field include No. 7 Illinois, No. 20 Florida State, No. 23 Auburn, No. 33 South Florida, No. 35 Mercer, No. 36 Purdue, No. 37 Memphis, Ohio State, College of Charleston, Wisconsin, Florida, Eastern Michigan, DePaul, Cincinnati, Marquette and Air Force.
The Spartans return to action March 9-11 as they travel to the Pinehurst Intercollegiate. The event will be played on Pinehurst No. 8 and No. 2 in the three-day, 54-hole event.
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