Fast Finish for Sixth-Place Vols
Danny Keddie

April 1, 2012

The Masters starts Thursday, but the Insperity Augusta State Invitational provided Tennessee and the rest of a stacked collegiate field a good gauge of what upcoming NCAA regional competition might look like.

The Vols finished strong to place sixth overall, or right in the middle of 10 teams ranked among the top 50 entering the weekend. Garrick Porteous led the way with a final-round, 6-under-par 66 to tie for sixth individually at Forest Hills Golf Club.

"I had struggled hitting the ball the last two tournaments," said Porteous, who finished at 9-under 207. "I worked really hard back in Knoxville and it all came together quite nicely as I hit the ball well all week.

"I just tried to give myself a decent chance on every hole to make a putt for birdie. I was pleased with how I hit it and, obviously, the putts fell."

Tennessee closed with a 2-under 286 to finish at 10-under 854 for its best scoring total of the year. The Vols trailed five ranked teams and placed ahead of five others.

Top-ranked Texas defeated two-time defending NCAA champion and host Augusta State in a two-hole playoff for the team title after both teams tied at 26-under 838. Illinois (846), Baylor (852) and TCU (852) rounded out the top five. TCU's Julien Brun claimed medalist honors at 14-under-par 202.

Positive Week
"While we could have played better, this week was a positive one from a variety of perspectives," UT head coach Jim Kelson said. "Several of our players learned some very valuable things while competing alongside the No. 1 team in the country. Danny Keddie showed that his game is rounding back into the form he displayed last spring and last fall, and we really had some outstanding finishes to several rounds -- especially Garrick Porteous today.

"Garrick really played fantastic golf, and it was great to see him and some of our players gain some confidence as we head to Yale."

The Vols also picked up nine important wins against Division I competition to just five losses, improving their Division I season record to 54-48-1, or six wins above the magic .500 mark required for NCAA postseason consideration.

In addition to Porteous, Jay Vandeventer shot 72, Keddie 73 and Rick Lamb and Darren Renwick each posted 75. All but Keddie had season-low tournament scores, and the sophomore's tie for 34th was his best finish of the spring.

Career-Low 66
Porteous matched his career-low round of 66 Sunday when he eagled the 17th and parred No. 18. The Vols senior captain had five birdies Sunday and 12 for the tournament.

"I hit a good drive and then hit a 4-iron from about 225 yards to 10 feet and made the putt," Porteous said of his second eagle this season. "I just dropped it in there and it was a good feeling."

Porteous said this week's environment will pay dividends at the upcoming SEC and NCAA tournaments.

"It was a really good field and it gives us a bit of confidence. Everyone is developing their games in the right way, which gives us encouragement going forward."

Vandeventer was 3 over par through seven holes Sunday before rallying with three birdies down the stretch to shoot even-par 72. The junior birdied the ninth, 12th and 17th holes to tie for 14th place at 5-under 211.

Back to Form
Keddie birdied two of his final three holes Sunday to shoot 73. The sophomore finished at 1 over 217, and his 34th-place showing was his best since a solo third at the Cabo Collegiate in late October.

Lamb had a pair of birdies and Renwick one birdie en route to their 75s. Lamb finished at 3-over 219 to tie for 48th place, while Renwick was 6-over 222 and tied for 61st.

All 16 tournament teams are invited to Monday's Masters practice round.

"It's a nice treat and always nice to go there," Porteous said.

Tennessee returns to action Saturday for the one-day, 36-hole Yale Spring Opener at one of the nation's top collegiate golf facilities, the Course at Yale.

T-1. Texas * 282-277-279--838 (-26)
T-1. Augusta State 283-276-279--838 (-26)
3. Illinois 291-273-282--846 (-18)
T-4. Baylor 291-284-277--852 (-12)
T-4. TCU 290-276-286--852 (-12)
6. TENNESSEE 291-277-286--854 (-10)
T-7. South Carolina 284-285-289--858 (-6)
T-7. Virginia Tech 293-284-281--858 (-6)
9. Oklahoma State 290-284-286--860 (-4)
T-10. Coastal Carolina 287-284-290--861 (-3)
T-10. SMU 299-279-283--861 (-3)
12. Houston 294-284-289--867 (+3)
13. Clemson 299-283-286--868 (+4)
14. Lamar 292-286-293--871 (+7)
15. Georgia State 292-290-290--872 (+8)
16. USC Aiken 298-287-288--873 (+9)
*Won on second playoff hole.
1. Julien Brun, TCU 68-65-69--202 (-14)
2. Dylan Frittelli, Texas 68-67-68--203 (-13)
T-3. Taylor Floyd, Augusta State 67-67-71--205 (-11)
T-3. Brendan Gillins, Augusta State 70-69-66--205 (-11)
5. Jordan Spieth, Texas 72-68-66--206 (-10)
T-6. Garrick Porteous 73-68-66--207 (-9)
T-14. Jay Vandeventer 70-69-72--211 (-5)
T-34. Danny Keddie 74-70-73--217 (+1)
T-48. Rick Lamb 74-70-75--219 (+3)
T-61. Darren Renwick 76-71-75--222 (+6)





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