Sept. 21, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- On the last day of stroke play at the inaugural Dick's Sporting Goods Challenge Cup, the Tennessee men's golf team shot a 288 (+4) to finish in fourth place. The Vols carded a two-day total of 288-282-288--888 (+6).
The Vols battled rough weather conditions early in the day. Heavy rains caused a two-hour delay to the start of Saturday's play. In addition, the weather adversely affected many teams in the Challenge Cup field, resulting in tournament round highs for half of the participating teams.
Saturday marked the end of the 54-hole stroke play at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs, Tenn. Georgia ended up taking the team championship crown from Texas A&M in a battle that went back-and-forth throughout the day. The individual championship was claimed by Ben Crancer from Texas A&M.
Up next for the Challenge Cup teams is the SEC/ACC Challenge. In the challenge, teams will be ranked based on Saturday's finish and play in an 18-hole match play conference finale. The Volunteers will be the No. 3 seed from the Southeastern Conference.
Through the 54-hole, two-day event, head coach Jim Kelson found consistent play from deep in his starting five.
Rodgers finished stroke play in a tie for 10th after carding rounds of 72-69-71--212 (-1). Making his first start of the season, the senior registered an eagle and 14 birdies over the course of his three rounds. He helped lead the Vols to a season-best round of golf on Friday afternoon.
Smith finished stroke play in a tie for 12th after carding rounds of 70-71-72--213 (E). In his second career start, the freshman has remained solid after being thrown right into the collegiate golfing mix. Smith registered nine birdies and never shot worse than a bogey on any hole during his Challenge Cup outing.
The individual highlight of the weekend once again came from sophomore Oliver Goss. The Australian finished his Challenge Cup weekend in fourth place. Goss was in strong contention for a top-3 finish before carding a double bogey on his last hole of the final round.
On Friday, Goss expressed his desire to capture his second collegiate championship of his career. His frustration was evident after coming up short. However, the All-American golfer managed to sink a team-tying high of 14 birdies over three rounds.
The Volunteers will look to ride the hot hands of Goss, Rodgers and Smith into the match play portion of the Dick's Challenge Cup where they will play as the SEC No. 3 seed. Tennessee will begin its quest for conference supremacy on Sunday at 8:00 a.m. ET. The Big Orange will square off against the ACC No. 3 seed Wake Forest. The conference that accumulates the most points will be crowned the 2013 ACC/SEC Conference Challenge Champion.
Volunteer fans can continue to keep up with the team by following @Vol_Golf on Twitter.
|TEAM SCORES (Final)|
|2.||Texas A&M||286-271-280--837 (-15)|
|7.||Mississippi State||288-291-299--878 (+26)|
|8.||Wake Forest||301-287-302--890 (+38)|
|10.||Boston College||314-297-303--914 (+62)|
|INDIVIDUAL LEADERS (Final)|
|1.||Ben Crancer, Texas A&M||68-63-66--197 (-16)|
|2.||Joey Garber, Georgia||67-70-67--204 (-9)|
|3.||Hunter Stewart, Vanderbilt||65-71-72--208 (-5)|
|4.||Oliver Goss, Tennessee||68-70-71--209 (-4)|
|UT SCORES (Final)|
|4.||Oliver Goss||68-70-71--209 (-4)|
|T-10.||Brandon Rodgers||72-69-71--212 (-1)|
|T-12.||Jack Smith||70-71-72--213 (E)|
|35.||Danny Keddie||79-72-74--225 (+12)|
|41.||Juan Carlos Serrano||78-76-76--230 (+17)|