PINEHURST, N.C. – UNCG weathered another wet day and a Chattanooga rally to claim a five-stroke win and its first Southern Conference Men's Golf Championship title on Tuesday at the par-72, 7,118-yard Pinehurst No. 9. Spartan freshman Nick Lyerly earned medalist honors at 4-under-par 212 for the tournament.
The Spartans brought a 12-stroke lead over Chattanooga and ETSU into Tuesday's final round, only to see the Mocs close to within three strokes after the turn. Despite playing the final three holes at a collective 4-over par, UNCG, which had three players including Lyerly tied for the individual lead after the second round, held off Chattanooga for its first-ever SoCon title.
The Spartans finished at a collective 18-over 882 after posting a 12-over 300 Tuesday. Chattanooga recovered from Monday's 304 to shoot a 5-over 293 Tuesday, finishing at 887.
UNCG's crown comes after three years of close calls, as the Spartans had finished runners-up to ETSU in each of the last three seasons, including falling in a playoff in 2015 and by just one stroke in 2016.
After the second half of Monday's round was played in a constant light rain, Tuesday's entire round was played in wet conditions.
Lyerly entered Tuesday's final round tied with teammates Bryce Hendrix and Josh Stockwell and Furman's Keller Harper at 1-under for the tournament. He proceeded to turn in one of just two rounds in the 60s in the final round, firing a 3-under 69 to claim medalist honors for the first time in his young career. He was also voted the league's Freshman of the Year.
Stockwell joined him in the top five, shooting a 4-over 76 Tuesday to finish at 3-over 219 for the tournament.
Runner-up Chattanooga got top-10 performances from Andrew Weathers and Lake Johnson, who tied for seventh at 5-over 221. Weathers shot 1-under 71 in the final round, while Johnson finished at 1-over 73.
ETSU finished third at 891, four strokes back of Chattanooga after Tuesday's 9-over 297. The Bucs had three players finish in the top 10 in freshmen Jack Rhea and Shiso Go and junior Geuntae Kim. Rhea finished alone in sixth at 4-over 220 with his 2-over 74 Tuesday, while Kim, the 2017 medalist, and Go tied for seventh at 221. Kim shot a 1-over 73 and Go a 3-over 75 in the final round.
Furman finished fourth at 901, led by Harper's fourth-place finish. The sophomore, who was named the SoCon Player of the Year, tied for fourth at 3-over 219 after turning in a 4-over 76 Tuesday.
Mercer finished fifth at 905, four strokes back of Furman. The Bears went low Tuesday, shooting a 4-over 292 as a team and paced by Stanton Schorr's 5-under 67, the low round of the tournament. Schorr played the back nine at 4-under, including an eagle on the par-5 10th hole, his first of hole of the day. Schorr tied for second overall at even-par 216, jumping 11 spots on the final day of competition.
Samford finished sixth at 913 overall but improved 14 strokes from its second-round score Tuesday, finishing at 10-over 298. Western Carolina was seventh at 933 but saw senior Dylan MacQueen tie for second overall at even-par 216. He shot a 1-under 71 Tuesday.
Wofford rounded out the standings at 952. Freshman Ryan Marter had the tournament's lone hole-in-one Tuesday, acing the par-3 ninth to finish his round.UNCG's Terrance Stewart was voted the league's Coach of the Year by his peers. Jonathan Brightwell earned the Pinnacle Award as the student-athlete of sophomore standing or higher with the highest GPA on the championship-winning team.
The Spartans, who earned the SoCon's automatic berth to the NCAA regionals, will learn their postseason fate Wednesday, May 2. The NCAA selection show will air on the Golf Channel at 5:30 p.m. Eastern that day.
2018 Southern Conference Men's Golf ChampionshipPinehurst No. 9Par 72, 7,118 yardsPinehurst, N.C.
Place Team Rd1 Rd2 Rd3 Total
1 UNCG 297 285 300 882
2 Chattanooga 290 304 293 887
3 ETSU 292 302 297 891
4 Furman 301 294 306 901
5 Mercer 309 304 292 905
6 Samford 303 312 298 913
7 Western Carolina 319 308 306 933
8 Wofford 320 323 309 952
Place Team Rd1 Rd2 R3 Total
1 Nick Lyerly, UNCG 73 70 69 212
T2 Dylan MacQueen, Western Carolina 73 72 71 216
T2 Stanton Schorr, Mercer 76 73 67 216
T4 Keller Harper, Furman 73 70 76 219
T4 Josh Stockwell, UNCG 74 69 76 219
6 Jack Rhea, ETSU 71 75 74 220
T7 Geuntae Kim, ETSU 72 76 73 221
T7 Shiso Go, ETSU 75 71 75 221
T7 Andrew Weathers, Chattanooga 73 77 71 221
T7 Lake Johnson, Chattanooga 74 74 73 221
Player of the Year
Keller Harper, So., Furman
Freshman of the Year
Nick Lyerly, UNCG
Coach of the Year
Terrance Stewart, UNCG
Pinnacle Award (highest GPA on championship-winning team)
Jonathan Brightwell, UNCG
Shiso Go, Fr., ETSU
Guentae Kim, Jr., ETSU
Connor Bruns, Jr., Furman
Keller Harper, So., Furman
Stanton Schorr, Jr., Mercer
Bryce Hendrix, Jr., UNCG
Nick Lyerly, Fr., UNCG
Josh Stockwell, Sr., UNCG
Lake Johnson, Jr., Chattanooga
Luke Long, So., Chattanooga
Shiso Go, ETSU
Jack Rhea, ETSU
Lino Galdin, Mercer
Nick Lyerly, UNCG
Nick Willis, Wofford