October 18, 2011

Duffin Blows Away the Field, Saints Take 4th Place at Tanglewood

Contact: Steve Cunha, sjcunh2033@northgeorgia.edu

CLEMMONS, NC – Howard Duffin continued his record setting fall campaign on Tuesday afternoon, carding a two-under-par 68 in the final round of the 54-hole Will Wilson Intercollegiate to help the North Georgia men's golf team leap frog past four schools into fourth place.

In the final round of tournament the Saints improved their aggregate score by 20 strokes, carding a school record 280, giving them a three-round total of 875 (295-300-280). The single round score of 280 tops the previous team-low by five shots and it was the first time in program history that the team finished a round with an aggregate score of par or better.

The 54-hole score was also a school record for North Georgia, topping the previous total of 889 achieved last fall at the Will Wilson Intercollegiate by 14 strokes.

Carson-Newman shot a final round aggregate score of 284 to move from third to first en route to a two-shot victory of Wingate University, while UNC Pembroke finished in third, four strokes off the pace. North Georgia and Newberry rounded out the top five. 

Heading into the final round, North Georgia sat in eighth place with only eight shots between them and fourth place Newberry College. The Saints third round team score was the lowest in the nine team field and catapulted them past Queen's University, Peach Belt foe USC Aiken, Belmont Abbey and Newberry into fourth place.

Howard Duffin cruised to a three-stroke victory, carding a two-under-par 68 in the final round to bring his three-round total to a three-under-par 207 (70-69-68). Jonathan Kim-Moss of Carson-Newman finished second, while Wingate's Brian Denton and Clifford Blanquicet tied for third. Matt Atkins of USC Aiken and Liam Ashby of Carson-Newman tied for fifth place.

Duffin's individual victory was his first since a head-to-head match against the university of Dayton in March of 2010 and was the third victory of his career. He was also the first Saints player to earn individual honors since Bryson Womack won the Mountain Lion Invitational last October.

Duffin's record-setting day did not end there. This was only the second time in the program's three-year history that a player won a tournament longer than one round and it was the first time in school history a player shot even-par or better in a 54-hole tournament.

For the tournament, Duffin recorded a team-high 10 birdies and 37 pars, while finishing under-par for the third time this fall. 

Duffin was not the only North Georgia player making moves in the final round. Grant Rish continues to improve at the start of his sophomore campaign, firing a one-under-par 69 to bring his three-round total to 221 (76-76-69), which was left him in a tie for 17th place. For the tournament Rish recorded seven birdies.

Rish's third round score was his lowest single round score at North Georgia and it was the third round this fall which he has even-par or better, a feat he did not accomplish during his freshman year.

Will Brackett saw the biggest improvement in the 50-man field following up a 14-over-par 84 with an even-par 70. This was Brackett's first round at par or better for the Saints and it helped him finish in a tie for 46th place. In just his fifth round of the fall, Brackett became the second freshman on the North Georgia men's golf team to shoot even-par or better in a round.

The other freshman to do so was Aaron George, who got off to hot start, but fizzled towards the end of the second 54-hole tournament of his collegiate career. George wrapped at the 2011 Will Wilson Intercollegiate with an eight-over-par 78 to bring his three-round total to 223 (69-76-78), which was good enough for a share of 22nd place.

Bryson Womack fired his lowest round of the fall, carding a three-over-par 73 in the third round. The 73 tops his previous low of 79, which he has done several times this fall, by six shots. With his final round score, Womack jumped six spots from 46th to a tie for 40th place.

The 2011 Will Wilson Intercollegiate was contested at the 18-hole Championship course at the Tanglewood Golf Club, which features just over 7,000 yards of course and is a par 70. The course rating is 74.5 and it has a slope rating of 140 on Bermuda grass.

North Georgia returns to the links for their final tournament of the fall on November 1, when they travel to Florida to compete in the Queen's University Invitational contest at the Dye's Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass.