Oct. 21, 2003
KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee's Orange team claimed third place honors at the 16th annual Coca-Cola Tournament of Champions with scores of 284-282-290--856, while UT's White team finished ninth with a 289-289-300--878. Junior Brandon Skeen of the White team led the way for both squads with his highest career finish as a Vol with a 70-69-69--208, finishing fifth.The tournament was held at Holston Hills Country Club (par 72, 6,991 yards).
The Orange squad placed two within the top 10 finishers. Juniors Ross McGowan and David Skinns finished eighth and ninth, respectively. McGowan continued his solid tournament play with a third round score of 71 to go with his two previous rounds of 71-69 for a total of 211. He opened play on the front nine with two birdies on holes seven and nine, to go with a bogey on No. 3 to make the turn with a 35. The final nine saw him bogey holes 10, 11 and 14 before coming back with birdies on 15, 17 and 18.
Skinns opened play with two straight birdies on holes 2 and 3 before a bogey
on 5. He recorded another birdie on 7, followed by a bogey on 9 to make the
turn with a 1-under-par 35. The back nine saw consistent play with pars on
holes 10 through 16, a birdie on 17 and a par on 18 to end the tournament with
a 2-under-par 70.
John Scott Rattan finished two-strokes back of Skinns with a scorecard of 70-71-73--214. The front nine saw Rattan struggle with a two-over-par 38. He then recovered on the back nine with birdies on Nos. 14, 16 and 18 to go with two bogeys on 15 and 17 to end the back with a 35.
Rounding out the Orange team's scoring was Jonathan Mount and Ross Cox. Mount ended his first showing as a Volunteer tied for 35th with a 74-69-79--222, while Cox shot a 76-78-76--230, finishing tied for 62nd.
Despite the Orange team slipping to third, head coach Jim Kelson was still pleased with the team, as well as the White team's effort.
"We didn't play well, but we didn't play poorly either," Kelson said. "As windy and rough as it was today I thought even-par would be a good enough score. Vanderbilt played really well today, shooting 9-under-par. I am really proud of our teams' efforts, as well as our individuals. We were in position to win, but just could not get it done."
Skeen's final round score of 69 got off to a solid start on the front nine with back-to-back birdies on holes two and three. He also had another birdie on No. 7, but had two bogeys on four and eight to end the front with a 35. The back nine saw Skeen record three more birdies on 11, 17 and 18, as well as a bogey on No. 15 for a 2-under-par 34 to lead the White team.
"Brandon [Skeen] played great today," Kelson said. I could not be happier for him and the way he finished."
Redshirt freshman John Brannen, who was making his first appearance as a Vol, came back with a final round score of 70 to go with his first two rounds of 78-75 for a total of 225, tying him for 50th. Brannen fired a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine that included three but shot a 1-over-par 37 on the back nine that included a two birdies, a double-bogey and a bogey.
Rounding out the White team's scoring was freshman Tino Weiss in 54th-t with a 71-75-80--226, junior Ricky Honeycutt in 57th-t with a 73-75-79--227 and sophomore Lloyd Campbell in 66th with a 75-70-86--231.
Vanderbilt claimed top team honors. The Commodores fired a 286-284-279--849 to win the tournament by five strokes over the second place Swedish Junior National Team who had scores of 279-284-291--854. Rounding out the top five teams after Tennessee Orange in third was No. 24 Georgia Southern in fourth with a 285-281--292--858 and Pepperdine in fifth with a 292-282-296--870.
Aron Price of Georgia Southern claimed top medalist honors with scores of 69-66-68--203. Finishing two strokes back in a tie for second was Jeremy Luce of Virginia and Jonas Blixt of the Swedish Junior National Team. Luce ended the tournament with a scorecard of 67-69-69--205, while Blixt had a 68-65-72--205. Jay Woodson of James Madison finished fourth with a 71-66-70--207, while Skeen rounded out the top five in fifth.
The Vols conclude the fall portion of their schedule Oct. 31-Nov. 2 when they make their first-ever appearance in The Landfall Tradition in Wilmington, N.C.