Feb. 5, 2013
PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- The Tennessee men's golf team captured its first team victory of the 2012-13 season, Tuesday. The Vols rallied after trailing Texas A&M on the back nine of the final round to secure the SeaBest Invitational championship.
The Vols finished The PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass with a 15-over par (879), registering scores of 300, 279 and 300. Tennessee held off Texas A&M (883), whom they battled with throughout the final round, and Coastal Carolina (898).
The last Tennessee team victory came on Apr. 7, 2012, at the Yale Spring Opener where Rick Lamb won his first collegiate tournament. Much like the Yale Opener, Tennessee lived up to their role as tournament favorites and were carried by the strong play of their seniors, Jay Vandeventer and Lamb.
"We are proud of our guys. They gave us exactly what we were looking for," head coach Jim Kelson said. "We did what we needed to do to win, especially hitting some clutch shots down the stretch. Thomas (Dunne) and Brandon (Rodgers) had a great final day that really helped us finish strong."
Lamb played the TPC Sawgrass course like a pro, winning the individual championship by six strokes. He cruised his way to victory at the SeaBest Invitational by finishing with a 5-under par (211).
The senior jumped out to a quick lead in the first round and never looked back. Lamb finished each round in sole possession of first place, leading by as many as eight strokes. He was at the top of his game after a phenomenal second round showing of 7-under par (65), highlighted by an eagle on the ninth hole. The closest competitor to Lamb was Texas A&M's Greg Yates who finished at 1-over par (217).
"It helped that I played so well yesterday," Lamb said. "I never looked at the scoreboard. I knew I was playing well, but I didn't want to know the standings."
This marks back-to-back individual tournament victories for Lamb as he won the Gifford Collegiate in San Martin, Calif., in Tennessee's last match of the fall season.
"We are extremely proud of Rick (Lamb)," Kelson said. "That's two tournament victories in a row for him. That is really impressive."
Throughout the first two rounds, Lamb had a tag-team partner in Vandeventer. They proved to be a great one-two punch, holding first and second place in the individual standings at the end of the first day. In addition, they great play had the Volunteers atop the team leaderboard throughout the tournament. Day 1 Recap
"Jay (Vandeventer) and I played really together on Monday," Lamb said. "Thomas and Brandon also really stepped up big for us today. Their strong final round helped us win the tournament."
The Vols will look to continue the success down in Ponte Vedra, Fla., when they return for the John Hayt Invitational on Feb. 24.
Volunteer fans can keep up with everything Tennessee men's golf by following @Vol_Golf on Twitter.
|TEAM SCORES (FINAL)|
|1.||#26 TENNESSEE||879 (+15)|
|2.||#30 Texas A&M||883 (+19)|
|3.||#46 Coastal Carolina||898 (+34)|
|4.||East Carolina||900 (+36)|
|7.||Jacksonville State||915 (+51)|
|8.||Old Dominion||920 (+56)|
|9.||Georgia State||922 (+58)|
|11.||Francis Marion||926 (+62)|
|12.||Wofford College||931 (+67)|
|T-13.||USC Upstate||932 (+68)|
|T-13.||Florida Gulf Coast||933 (+69)|
|15.||Charleston Southern||963 (+99)|
|INDIVIDUAL LEADERS (FINAL)|
|1.||Rick Lamb, TENNESSEE||211 (-5)|
|2.||Greg Yates, Texas A&M||217 (+1)|
|T-3.||Kyle Bearden, Winthrop||219 (+3)|
|T-3.||Adrian Meronk, ETSU||219 (+3)|
|5.||Drew Evans, Texas A&M||220 (+4)|
|UT SCORES (FINAL)|
|1.||Rick Lamb||211 (-5)|
|T-6.||Jay Vandeventer||222 (+6)|
|T-16.||Oliver Goss||226 (+10)|
|T-16.||Thomas Dunne||226 (+10)|
|T-34.||Brandon Rodgers||231 (+15)|