RALEIGH, N.C. - The North Carolina men's golf team came out on fire in the final round of the Wolfpack Intercollegiate and won the 54-hole event by 10 strokes. The Tar Heels were 10-under-par after the front nine and ended the day with a 12-under 276 score for a 10-under 854 total, 10 strokes ahead of runner-up East Carolina.
"I am just so proud of these guys," says Tar Heel head coach Andrew Sapp. "They showed a lot of guts and maturity all week. Winning is contagious and Clark's win at Duke gave everyone confidence. We have been watching our women's team bring home trophies recently and we wanted to join in on the fun. It was incredible to have four guys in the top four this week."
Tar Heel Brandon Dalinka captured the individual title, the first win of his collegiate career. The sophomore from Newtown, Pa., fired a 6-under 66 in the final round for a 6-under 210 total. Dalinka started out his bogey-free round with birdies on the first two holes. He went on to score six birdies on the day, three on the front and three on the back.
"What a spectacular round by Brandon, continued Sapp. "He played flawless golf today. I could not be happier for him."
Senior Clark Palmer finished four strokes behind Dalinka in a tie for second place at 2-under 214. Palmer, from Augusta, Ga. who tied for first place at last weekend's Rod Myers Invitational, fired six birdies and four bogeys on his way to a 2-under 70 on the day. Two Tar Heels tied for fourth place at 1-under 215 - senior Patrick Barrett and sophomore Bailey Patrick. Patrick, from Charlotte, N.C., fired a 3-under 69 in the final round as he scored four birdies and just one bogey. Barrett, from Pinehurst, N.C., carded a 1-under 71, scoring three birdies and two bogeys. Michael McGowan, a senior from Southern Pines, N.C., fired a 1-over 73 on Saturday for a 9-over 225 total to tie for 42nd place.
Two Tar Heels competed as individuals - junior Andy Sajevic and freshman Keegan Cummings. Sajevic, from Fremont, Neb., fired a 1-under 71 in the final round to finish with an 8-over 224 total and tied for 40th place. Cummings, from Dublin, Ireland, carded a 4-over 76 on Saturday for a 10-over 226 total to tie for 46th.
The Tar Heels came from one stroke back going into the final round to post a 10-stroke win. After Carolina led for most of yesterday's two rounds, East Carolina snagged a one-stroke advantage after the second round. Carolina then fired a sizzling 12-under 276 for a 10-under 854 total while the Pirates shot a 1-under 287 in the final round for an even-par 864 total. Host NC State finished in third place at 14-over 878 after carding a 3-over 291 on Saturday. Western Carolina finished fourth at 15-over 879 while Maryland placed fifth at 880 and Boston College sixth with an 881 total.
Carolina's Dalinka captured his first collegiate win by firing a 6-under 66. His 6-under 210 total was four strokes better than a 2-under 214 fired by teammate Palmer and Western Carolina's J.T. Poston who tied for runner-up honors. Five players tied for fourth place at 1-under 215 - Carolina's Barrett and Patrick, Maryland's Sean Bosdosh, East Carolina's Eric Brady and NC State's Albin Choi.
The 54-hole event was played at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course which features a par 72, 7,358-yard layout. The Tar Heels have one tournament left on their fall schedule, the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate to be played Oct. 29-30 in Dallas, Texas.
"Now we are looking forward to continuing our momentum when we go to Dallas next week," says Sapp. "We will see some top 25 teams there and it will be a great test for us."