ETOWAH, N.C. - The Newberry Wolves shot their best round of the tournament in Tuesday's final round to finish in sixth place at the South Atlantic Conference Championship at Etowah Valley Resort.
The Wolves shot 894 (304-298-292, +30) for the 54-hole event and Tuesday's 4-over par 292 was the fourth-best round of the event. Newberry was four strokes back of Coker in third place and 15 strokes behind tournament champions Lincoln Memorial.
Fredrik Fossum earned second team all-Tournament honors, tying for 10th place on the individual leaderboard at 221 (73-72-76, +5). On a solid day for the scarlet and gray, his score was actually the Wolves' drop score on Tuesday. He had birdies on holes Nos. 6, 12 and 13.
Harry Bolton finished in 17th place at 223 (75-73-75, +7). He had birdies on holes Nos. 6 and 14 in Tuesday's final round. Carlos Leandro finished in 21st place and shot the team's best round of the day. He had a three-day total of 225 (77-77-71, +9) and had three birdies (holes Nos. 6, 8 and 18) against only two bogeys today.
Evan DeGrazia came in 32nd place at 228 (79-76-73, +12). He was -2 on the back nine Tuesday. Spencer Skiff shot 231 (80-78-73, +15) to place 43rd. He had two birdies in his final three holes Tuesday.
The Wolves came into the event ranked 10th by the NCAA in the Southeast Region. Newberry now awaits word on whether it will advance to the NCAA regionals, which will be announced at the end of this week.
“I know that I can speak for this team by saying that we are deeply disappointed with our performance this week," said Newberry director of golf and head men's golf coach Howard Vroon. "We have played well this spring, finishing third in a strong field at Lander, winning the Mount Olive Trojan by 39 shots and lowering our stroke average to 293, which is the 15th ranked stroke average in the country and fourth-best in the Southeast Region.
"By playing well this spring, we earned the third seed at this championship, behind Carson-Newman (ranked 13th in the country) and Lincoln Memorial (ranked 18th in the country). In the end, we finished four shots out of our third place seeding, and only 15 out of first place. But we did not play well, and could not get out of our own way.
"For the first 27 holes of the event, we were 26 over par. Playing the final 27 holes only 4 over par was great improvement, but too little too late. We could not overcome the very poor start. We played tight and careful, for those first 27 holes, and we’ve been training to do the opposite since August, so this was a big step backwards for us and extremely disappointing.
"While the final round 292 was just an average round for us, it was nice to end the championship with our lowest round of the event. The other bright spots are the performances of our senior captain, Fred Fossum, and our freshman, Harry Bolton. Fred played a fantastic tournament, doing all the things he has trained himself to do to be successful. It was a pleasure to watch. Congratulations to Fred for earning second team all-conference. Also, Harry Bolton continues to distinguish himself as a freshman. He handled himself extremely well in his first conference championship, a credit to the training he has done since arriving in August.
"We will now have to wait to see if we can hold on to our ranking of 10th in the Region according to the NCAA National Committee. If we do, we will have an opportunity to play again at the South/Southeast Super Regional at Mission Inn, which will give us the chance to continue our season in a more exemplary way,” Vroon said.
2016 South Atlantic Conference Championship
Etowah Valley Resort
Dates: Apr 17-19, 2016
Par 72, 6892 yards