OPELIKA, ALA. - The North Carolina men's golf team fired rounds of 312-298 in the final two rounds of the Tiger Invitational to finish in 11th place with a 909 total. The Tar Heels were led on Tuesday by senior Michael McGowan who fired rounds of 77-71.
"We were very pleased with our team score in the final round," said Tar Heel head coach Andrew Sapp. "Only one team beat us in the round three. Brandon and Michael shot wonderful rounds of 71. Brandon was sick Monday night and tried to play Tuesday morning but was still feeling sick so he was forced to withdraw in the morning and tried to get better for the afternoon round. He felt better and played incredible considering he only had one hour of sleep the night before.
"This morning we played very poorly on our first nine holes. I think we were about 25-over par, but we played the second nine under par and then played well in the final round. The overall finish isn't what we wanted but we improved in our last 27 holes so hopefully that will give us momentum going into FSU."
McGowan's 1-under-par 71 in the final round included three birdies and two bogeys. The Southern Pines, N.C., native finished at 7-over 223 to tie for 10th place. Sophomore Brandon Dalinka also fired a 1-under 71 in the final round, but withdrew from the morning round due to illness. Bailey Patrick, a sophomore from Charlotte, N.C., shot an 80 in the morning round, but responded with a 2-over 74 in the afternoon to finish with a 230 total in a tie for 41st. Junior Andy Knox, from Cary, N.C., fired a 3-over 75 in the morning followed by an 82 in the final round for a 234 total and tied for 53rd. Knox's final round was highlighted by an eagle-3 on the par-5, 545-yard 14th hole. Andy Sajevic, a junior from Fremont, Neb., struggled on Tuesday with rounds of 80-86 to finish at 240 in a tie for 71st.
Mississippi State topped the 15-team field by firing a 25-over 889 total and finished seven strokes ahead of runner-up Memphis which carded with an 896 total. Auburn finished in third place at 899 while South Alabama finished fourth at 900 and three teams tied for fifth place with 901 totals - Kentucky, Chattanooga and Houston.
Chad Ramey of Mississippi State fired rounds of 71-70 on Tuesday to finish at 3-under-par 213. Niclas Carlsson of Auburn was the runner-up at even par 216, three strokes behind Ramey. Chattanooga's Benjamin Weilguni and Memphis' Will Pearson tied for third place at 2-over 218 while Even Beck of Wake Forest finished fifth at 221 and four players tied for sixth at 222 - East Carolina's Ryan Eibner, Kennesaw State's Peder Hermansson, Kentucky's Stephen Powers and South Alabama's Tyler Klava. Another four players tied for 10th place at 223 - Carolina's McGowan, Yale's Sam Bernstein, Chattanooga's Chris Robb and Mississippi State's Axel Boasson.
The 54-hole event was played at Grand National Lake Course which features a par 72, 7,149-yard layout. The Tar Heels now travel to the second leg of their spring break trip, the Seminole Intercollegiate to be played March 15-17 in Tallahassee, Fla. Live scoring will be available on GoHeels.com.