COLUMBUS - The Georgia Southwestern golf team saved its best play for the final round, fired the only under-par team score on Tuesday at the Country Club of Columbus and grabbed its third title of the season, the 17-team Aflac/Cougar Invitational.
Southwestern started Day 2 six strokes behind third-ranked Lynn University and four shots behind No. 4 Barry University. It wasn't until the final nine holes where the 'Canes were able to jump Lynn. From there, GSW kept its foot on the gas en route to a five-stroke victory.
At No. 24 in the country, GSW was the lowest-ranked squad of 11 ranked teams in the loaded field. In fact, only two teams in the tournament did not at least receive votes in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf NCAA Division II Coaches' Poll.
Individually, the Hurricanes couldn't have finished much better, as well, grabbing the top three spots in the 90-player field. Senior Craig Gibson led the Hurricane onslaught and earned individual medalist honors with a 2-under 211. Its Gibson's second victory in three years at the Aflac/Cougar.
Nipping at Gibson's heels were teammates Chris Hall (212) and J.P. Griffin (213). Hall, a senior, was solid on Tuesday as he was one of only four golfers in the field to shoot under-par. Griffin played the final eight holes 5-under, jumped 25 spots in the standings and the junior's final-round 66 tied the low round of the tournament.
Southwestern is playing well this fall. The Hurricanes won the 17-team Kiawah Invitational on Sept. 6 and the three-team RTJ Grand National Challenge on Sept. 17. Through three tournaments, GSW has yet to lose to a D-II school.
The Blue & Gold wrap up the fall season Oct. 24-25 at the Laker Invitational in Hampton, Ga.
2011 AFLAC/COUGAR INVITATIONAL- TEAM SCORES
|Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Total|
|(14) Georgia College||289||292||295||876||+24|
|(13) Columbus State||296||291||295||882||+30|
|(20) Florida Southern||297||286||300||883||+31|
|(8) North Alabama||297||289||300||886||+34|
|(RV) Florida Tech||306||292||291||889||+37|
|(RV) Valdosta State||298||303||298||899||+47|
|(11) Delta State||299||296||310||905||+53|
|(RV) Queens (N.C.)||300||311||296||907||+55|
|( ) - NCAA Division II ranking in latest Golf World/Nike Golf Coaches Poll with RV = received votes|
|Place||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Total|