The first ever Ryman Hospitality Intercollegiate became a battle of two strong teams, but the Bisons used a strong finish to come out on top.
The Lipscomb Men’s Golf team trailed Ole Miss by three shots with four holes to play but managed to make five late birdies to earn the victory.
“Mental fortitude, that’s what’s great about this team,” Coach Will Brewer said after the tournament. “They are all passionate about competing. Ole Miss is a great team and their 1-2 punch is strong, but we put ourselves in a good position and finished really strong.”
Blustery and firm conditions made the golf course very difficult and caused scores to be higher than anticipated. Swirling winds and lightning fast greens kept the players guessing for most of the tournament.
“We played out here a couple weeks ago when it was soft and slow, so it surprised us to have to compete in much different conditions,” Brewer said. “Some of our guys weren’t happy about the scores they shot, but overall they handled the difficult conditions very well.”
Dawson Armstrong and Stoney Crouch led the Bisons in the final round. Armstrong shot a solid round of 69 to grab second place in the tournament at 1-under part (72-71-69.) Meanwhile Crouch birdied three of his final five holes to shoot a 3-under 68 and finished the event at 1-over par (73-73-71.)
Both Mikey Feher and Eric Ansett carded rounds of 74 in the final round. Ansett finished the event alone in fifth place at 3-over par (69-73-74), with Feher finishing one stroke behind in a tie for sixth at 4-over (70-73-74). Hunter Howell rounded out the competitions for the Bisons at 15-over part in a tie for 25th (75-75-78.)
Ole Miss’ Braden Thornberry ran away with the tournament, firing a 29 on his final nine holes to shoot a 6-under 65 in the final round. He finished the event at 14-under part, (65-69-65), 13 shots ahead of Armstrong.
The Bisons begin their conference tournament this Sunday at Chateau Elan in Braselton, GA.
“We have four teams in our conference that have already qualified for regionals,” Brewer said. “Kennesaw State, Jacksonville, North Florida, and us are all inside the top 40. It’ll be tough, but if we putt well and process well things will work out.”
Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics