Chapel Hill, N.C. - The University of North Carolina men's golf team finished the third and final round of the Tar Heel Intercollegiate in second place, distancing themselves from Charlotte who came into the round tied with North Carolina at 1-under-par. Carolina shot a 1-under 287 for the day, the low score in the round, to have an overall score of 2-under 862. Duke remained on top of the leaderboard shooting a 1-over-par 289 and overall score of 8-under 856.
"The guys put in a lot of time," Duke head coach Jamie Green said. "Today probably wasn't the best golf they ever played. These guys help each other out throughout three rounds and it was enough to get a 'W'. We'll still go back and make sure we are working on the right things and preparing for the next tournament."
Michael McGowan, a senior from Southern Pines, N.C., led the Tar Heels with a 4-under 212 tournament score and finished third overall. Sophomore Bailey Patrick, from Charlotte, N.C., had a great third round shooting a 3-under 69 and ending the tournament tied for 10th at even-par 216. Brandon Dalinka, a sophomore from Newtown, Pa., birdied his last two holes to finish even par on the day and 1-over-par 217 which tied for 12th. Senior Clark Palmer, from Augusta, Ga., had a tournament score of 4-over 220 and tied for 24th. Andy Sajevic, a junior from Fremont, Neb., was consistent throughout the tournament shooting a 3-over par 75 each day making him tie for 45th overall at 225.
Carolina head coach Andrew Sapp reflected on his team's performance. "I felt pleased with the team overall because we had a lot of players play really well. We won the last round and that's always important, to be the best team in the final round and we haven't done that much recently and so it was nice to see our team respond and at least make up shots on Duke. Duke played phenominal on yesterday and that's when they won the tournament and then they didn't lose it today. We pushed them coming down the stretch. I was proud to see them do that, respond to that and come out and play well the final day."
Carolina also had members of the team playing as individuals in the Tar Heel Intercollegiate including Patrick Barrett, a senior from Pinehurst, N.C., who finished second overall in the tournament with scores 69-71-71 for a 5-under 211. Andy Knox, a junior from Cary, N.C., finished the tournament tied for 17th with a 2-over 218. Sophomore Reeves Zaytoun, from Raleigh, N.C., shot a 7-over-par in the final round to end up tied for 34th at 7-over 223. Fellow sophomore Robert Register, from Burlington, N.C., also shot a 7-over in the final round and ended tied for 67th at 16-over 232. Freshman Keagan Cummings, from Dublin, Ireland, had his best round of the tournament Sunday with a 4-over 76. He finished tied for 71st with a 17-over 233.
"Our montra this year is to play for May," Sapp said. "May is when the championships are played, May is when NCAAs are played. Every day we want to play for May. Every day we want to practice with that focus of making it to the NCAA Championships, playing well at the ACC Championships and that even starts September 1st."
As for how his players will be ready Sapp responded with, "We're going to continue to play a lot. We might even incorporate some match play just to mix things up cause our national championship is competed in match play. If we make it there we want to be prepared for that format. We're going to work hard on our short games; work hard on our scoring and hopefully continue to improve each week."
Albin Choi, from NC State clinched his 5th career victory and won by six strokes over Carolina's Patrick Barrett. Choi had 17 birdies throughout the tournament and ended at 11-under 205. Barrett and McGowan came into the last round tied at 4-under but Barrett edged McGowan after McGowan bogeyed his final hole.
McGowan was not pleased with his performance. "I'm a little frustrated. I had a decent front nine - I shot a couple birdies, the rest pars. My back nine was OK, just not quite there. Putts weren't as good, shots to the greens weren't as solid I just had a poor finish with two bogeys on the back including a bogey on the last hole after missing a very makeable putt on 17 for birdie."
Carolina placed second only to Duke in the Tar Heel Intercollegiate. Duke finished at 8-under 856 while the Tar Heels took second with a 1-under 862. Charlotte came close to falling two spots after shooting a 10-over 298 on the final round finishing at 9-over 873. NC State trailed Charlotte by one stroke finishing 10-over 874. East Tennessee State rounded out the top five with a 13-over 877 despite having two players in the top ten overall.
The Tar Heel Intercollegiate was played Saturday and Sunday at UNC Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill. The tournament was a 54-hole event on the par 72, 6,285-yard course. The Tar Heels return to action on Oct. 13 at the Rod Myers Intercollegiate in Durham, N.C.