Oct. 19, 2004
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The ninth-ranked Tennessee men's golf team defended its home turf and claimed its third Coca-Cola Tournament of Champions title with a 284-285-284--853 at Holston Hills Country Club (par 71, 6,932 yards). This marked the Vols second tournament win of the fall season after winning the Bank of Tennessee/Ridges Intercollegiate in September.
After experiencing a rain delay of close to two hours, the teams began the final round of play at 10:30 a.m. with a shotgun start. The rain was off and on for the first part of the round, but held off for the remainder of the round.
Leading the way for the Vols was junior Lloyd Campbell and senior Ross McGowan in a tie for third. Campbell turned in his best performance as a Vol with a 73-69-68--210. After opening the round with a bogey on one, he recorded back-to-back birdies on two and three. He then recorded six-straight pars to make the turn with a 1-under-par 34. Campbell continued his string of pars on the back nine with six more, followed by two more birdies on 16 and 17. He parred the final hole to record the Vols' lowest round of the day.
McGowan, competing as an individual, also recorded his best finish while playing for UT. For the tournament he carded a 69-72-69--210. His final round began on the back nine at hole 15. His round was highlighted by an eagle on 17. A bogey on one was then followed by a double bogey on two. He bounced back on holes five and six with birdies, as well as on 8 to help claim a share of third place.
Senior David Skinns wrapped up his third top-10 finish in as many tournaments, tying for eighth with a scorecard of 72-69-70--211. After recording a bogey on the first hole, Skinns reeled off nine consecutive pars before another bogey on 11. He made his first birdie of the day on No. 13, followed by another bogey on 13 before birdies on 16, 17 and 18 to close out the tournament.
Individual competitor Tino Weiss was next for the Vols in a tie for 14th with a 69-73-73--215. Weiss, a sophomore, opened play on hole 15. After a birdie and bogey to open play on holes 17 and 18, he recorded two more bogeys on two and three. A birdie on five was then followed by consecutive bogeys on eight and nine.
Freshman Philip Pettitt tied for 21st to stand third in Tennessee's team scoring with a 68-77-72--217. Pettitt opened play on the second hole with two pars, followed by a birdie on four and a bogey on six. A bogey on 10 took his score to 1-over-par before another birdie took him back to even. After six pars he then recorded a bogey on his final hole.
Senior John Scott Rattan and freshman Charlie Ford rounded out the Tennessee team scoring in ties for 37th and 46th, respectively. Rattan concluded his final Tournament of Champions with a 71-75-75--221, while Ford finished with a 77-72-74--223. Rattan's round included two birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey. Ford also had an up-and-down round with four birdies, two bogeys and two double bogeys.
Head coach Jim Kelson was happy with his team's performance during the final round and for the tournament overall.
"I'm happy for our team that we had a chance to win this tournament," Kelson said. "This is our 17th year of hosting and it's nice to win at a club that means a lot to our program. We had a good time and did what we needed to do to win. David (Skinns) played outstanding, and Lloyd (Campbell) did as well. A lot of people expect you to win your home tournament, but it's really hard to win. This was special."
Tennessee's victory was it's third Tournament of Champions title. The Vols previously won in 1992 and 2001. Georgia (1989 and 2002) and East Tennessee State (1995 and 1996) each have two tournament titles.
Finishing five strokes back of the Vols in second was SEC rival Alabama with a 285-288-285--858. East Tennessee State (862) finished third, while Virginia (864) took fourth. Louisville and Pepperdine rounded out the top five in a tie for fifth with scores of 866.
Aron Price of Georgia Southern took the individual medallist honors for the second year in a row with a 69-69-69--207. Price's win marked the first time an individual competitor has claimed the individual title more than once. Rhys Davies of East Tennessee State took second with a 75-64-70--209 that included a hole-in-one during the final round. There was a five-way tie for third between Lloyd Campbell and Ross McGowan of Tennessee, Luke List and Brett Lange of Vanderbilt and Charlie Woo of Louisville with scores of 210.
The Vols look to close out the fall portion of their schedule on a high note when they travel to Rocky Face, Ga., to compete in the prestigious Carpet Capital Collegiate, Nov. 5-7. The tournament was originally scheduled for Sept. 17-19, but was rescheduled to due inclement weather.