The Tennessee men’s golf team successfully wrapped up its first win of the 2007-08 season on Wednesday.
Along the way, the Vols made a little history.
With a school-record 27-under-par 261, the Volunteers went wire to wire to take home the team championship at the Turtle Bay Intercollegiate played at Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku, Hawaii.
Tennessee concluded its final tournament of the fall season with a total score of 64-under-par 800, UT’s best three-round score since 1980, and all five individuals finished in the top 13.
“We are very excited and very proud,” coach Jim Kelson said. “It was great to see such a low score shot and I think it will give us a lot of confidence as we get into the spring.
“Best of all, we won the tournament, which helped us end up with a pretty good fall after this win. I think it will help our ranking and give us good momentum heading into the spring.”
Along with the Vols taking home the team championship, senior Charlie Ford finished tied for first with Sean Shahi of UC Irvine. Ford finished with a 6-under-par 66 in the third round, but it was his 8-under-par 64 in the second round – his best round at UT – that put him in position to be a co-medalist.
“It was my first win in college so I was excited about that,” Ford said. “Even thought it was only a co-championship, I am very happy to have won. I struggled a lot on the first day, and I had a really good finish just to shoot a couple under. And yesterday was probably one of the best rounds of my life.
“It was not that easy of a golf course, I just played really well. I was pretty delighted to come out co-champion.”
Ford’s 54-hole total of 200 was the lowest 54-hole total by an individual in school history.
While Ford set one record, sophomore David Holmes, junior Chris Paisley and freshman Robin Wingardh broke others.
Holmes set a Turtle Bay course record with his final-round, 10-under-par 62. Holmes finished the tournament a 12-under-par and tied for 10th place, his best finish as a Vol.
Paisley and Wingardh tied for fifth place at 14-under-par. Their 54-hole totals of 202 set new career marks for both, and Wingardh’s fifth-place finish was his best at Tennessee. Paisley shot a 7-under-par 65 in the final round while Wingardh finished up with a 3-under-par 69.
Senior Philip Pettitt finished tied for 13th, coming in at 11-under-par 205.
Senior Ben Spickard, who competed as an individual, finished tied for 73rd place with a scorecard of 71-76-70--217.
California-Irvine finished in second place, 21 strokes back of Tennessee. Texas-Arlington was third at 41 under par, while Saint Mary’s, UNLV and College of Charleston finished tied for fourth at 35 under.
Tennessee opens its 2008 spring season Jan. 28-29 in Tucson, Ariz., at the PING/Arizona Intercollegiate.