SAPPHIRE, N.C. – Both carding a pair of rounds fired in the 60s, Western Carolina freshmen Pierre Viallaneix and Magnus Pedersen led the Catamounts to a ninth-place showing at the J.T. Poston Invitational that concluded Tuesday at the par-71, 6,767-yard Country Club of Sapphire Valley. Viallaneix came home tied for 13th overall while Pedersen was a stroke in arrears in a tie for 16th place overall.
Viallaneix posted three rounds of even-par or better at the home event including a career-low round of 4-under-par 67 to open tournament play in recording a career-best finish. Pedersen likewise posted the best finish of his fledgling career, matching Viallaneix with first and third rounds in the 60s with a 1-over-par round of 72 fired on the second 18 holes in a round interrupted by the rain delay.
Viallaneix recorded a team-best 11 birdies while Pedersen finished with a team-best 38 pars, tied for the sixth-most in tournament play.
First-round leader and defending event champion Georgia Southern held on to edge hard-charging South Carolina by a single stroke – 805-to-806 – to become the first-ever team to repeat as champion at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley. The Eagles’ 47-under-par 805 was a tournament record, shattering the record they turned in at last year’s event. VCU finished third overall with a score of 832, followed by Morehead State (834) and Central Arkansas (841), which advanced into the top five over the final round.
Ryan Hall of South Carolina climbed two spots to claim individual medalist honors, shooting a tournament-record score of 199 (70-65-64) – the first to ever break the 200-scoring barrier in collegiate action at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley. Hall and his Gamecock teammate Jamie Wilson both carded a tournament record-low single round of 7-under-par 64 – Wilson doing so in round two that began Monday before concluding Tuesday morning with Hall using his record round to surge atop the individual leaderboard.
Georgia Southern’s Mason Williams and USC’s Caleb Proveaux finished tied for the runner-up spot while Wilson dropped into a tie for fourth with two others. All told, three individuals broke the tournament-record three-round score of 202 while two teams – Georgia Southern and South Carolina – broke the year-old team three-round score of 822.
Behind the Catamount freshman tandem of Viallaneix and Pedersen was sophomore Tumi Kúld who finished in a tie for 42nd overall with a two-day score of even-par 213. Kúld shot 2-over 73 in the first round before balancing it with consecutive rounds of 1-under 70, matching his career-low round to finish the event.
Rounding out WCU’s scoring five were redshirt freshman Tyler Bussert in a tie for 69th overall at 221 (73-76-72) and freshman Quinton Metz in 85th at 228 (73-79-77). Both Catamount newcomers also posted career-low rounds at the J.T. Poston Invitational including a 1-over 72 in the third round by Bussert and Metz with his 2-over 73 on the opening 18 holes.
Playing unattached as an individual, sophomore Louis Theys finished tied for 66th overall at 220 (75-72-73) in his 2019-20 season debut, while junior Michael Coe was 84th with a three-round score of 226 (72-82-72) in his first action of the season. Theys matched Viallaneix with 11 birdies over the 54-hole event. Junior Zach Caudill placed in a tie for 81st with a tournament score of 225 (78-76-71), shooting his season-best in the final round.
Western Carolina has three remaining events in the fall portion of its schedule beginning with the Bubba Barnett Intercollegiate hosted by Arkansas State at the Ridgepointe Country Club in Jonesboro, Ark. The 54-hole tournament is scheduled for Oct. 14-15.