KANNAPOLIS, NC. - The North Carolina men's golf team fired an 8-over-par 292 to capture the team's first tournament win this spring season and second this year while giving Head Coach Andrew Sapp his second win at North Carolina and 10th for his career. The team struggled on the front nine, scoring a 9-over-par 149, but refocused and combined for a 1-under-par 143 on the back nine. North Carolina ended the tournament at 7-over-par 859. Andy Sajevic led the Tar Heels on Sunday by shooting an even-par 71 on Sunday, knocking in three birdies and three bogeys.
Sajevic, a junior from Fremont, Neb., finished the tournament tied for fourth. Sophomore Brandon Dalinka, from Newtown, Pa., had a solid round, carding three bogeys and two birdies for a 1-over 72 and finished tied for 23rd at 5-over 218. Senior Michael McGowan ended his tournament by shooting a 2-over-par 73. The Southern Pines, N.C. native finished third overall for the tournament at 2-under-par 211. Bailey Patrick, a sophomore from Charlotte, N.C., and Keagan Cummings, a freshman from Dublin, Ireland, both shot a 5-over 76 on Sunday. Both Patrick and Cummings recorded a birdie with four bogeys and one double bogey. Patrick tied for 23rd at 5-over 218 while Cummings tied for 47th at 11-over 224. Senior Patrick Barrett, playing as an individual this tournament, had his best round of the tournament on Sunday. Barrett, from Pinehurst, N.C., ended the round at 4-over-par 75 for a 229 total, tying him for 74th.
Sapp talked about his team's perseverance and the importance of the win for the team, "This was a hard fought win. We got off to a poor start and at one point we were in fourth place, but the guys played very well on the more difficult back nine and grinded out this win. It is not only great to get another victory on the year leading into ACCs, but this helps us qualify for NCAA Regionals. I am so proud of how the guys stayed strong and never gave up."
The Tar Heels claimed the number one spot on the leaderboard at 7-over 859, beating NC State, which carded an 861, by two strokes. Kennesaw State and Charlotte tied for third at 14-over 866 Davidson College and UNCW tied for fifth at 869. Kansas took seventh after shooting 872 and Mercer took eighth at 877. VCU, Richmond, and Akron all tied for ninth at 879.
Jimmy Beck of Kennesaw State had the best score by an individual at 8-under-par 205. Charlotte's Franco Castro was a stroke shy of Beck at 7-under 206 after firing a 6-under 65 in the final round. Carolina's McGowan took third at 2-under 211. Five players tied for fourth at 1-under 212 – Carolina's Sajevic, NC State's Albin Choi, Davidson's Richard Fountain, UNC Wilmington's Payne McLeod and Richmond's Daniel Walker. Alex Gutesha of Kansas took ninth at even-par 213 and five players tied for 10th at 1-over-par 214.
The 54-hole event was played at The Club at Irish Creek which features a par 71, 7,099-yard layout. The Tar Heels compete next at the ACC Championships in New London, N.C. The ACC Championships begin Friday April 26 and end Sunday April 28.