Pawley’s Island, SC – The Stetson men’s golf team got off to a fair start in its first event of the 2013-14 season, but struggled over the next two days at the GolfWeek Program Challenge.
The Hatters opened with a 298 in the first round, but followed up with consecutive rounds of 309 on Monday and 308 on Tuesday to finish in 12th place in the 12-team event at the True Blue Course. It is the second straight year the Hatters have finished 12th in the event.
“We just didn’t play very well the last two days,” first year Stetson coach Larry Watson said. “The biggest problem was putting. We had 22 three putts through the first two rounds. That is at least 11 shots right there.”
The Hatters finished at 51-over par for the tournament, 33 shots behind 11th place Boston College. Akron posted a three-under par team score of 285 on Tuesday to win the tournament by five shots over IUPUI and six over James Madison. The Zips came from six shots back on the final day of the tournament to take the title.
JMU posted a 10-over par 298 in the final round while IUPUI finished the round at eight-over 296, allowing Akron to storm to the tournament title.
The Campbell Camels, on the strength of their women’s team, edged Jacksonville State by one shot for the combined tournament title. The Campbell men finished tied for ninth at 15-over par while the women won their side of the tournament with a final score of 10-over par. JSU finished in fourth in the men’s tournament at one-under par, while the women finished in second place at 27-over par.
Stetson finished ninth in the combined standings at 81-over par. The Hatters were just five shots behind Gardner-Webb for eighth and 10 behind Northern Iowa for seventh.
Medalist honors in the men’s tournament went to J.T. Poston of Western Carolina, who posted his third consecutive sub-par round on Tuesday to finish at 11-under par 205 for the tournament. J.B. Williams of Akron finished second, four shots off the lead, with four other players tied for third, two shots further back.
Individually, Stetson’s top finisher was freshman Dirk Kuehler, who closed with a two-over par 74 on Tuesday to finish tied for 32nd place at six over par.
Sophomore Dustin Dingus, who tied for 25th in the Program Challenge last year with a four-over par score of 220, finished tied for 49th in his second trip to the tournament. Dingus closed with a one-over par 73 on Tuesday to finish at nine-over par for the tournament.
Stetson’s other three players finished at the bottom of the field. Sophomores Andrew Peterson and Michael Primavera tied for 58th place with matching scores of 20-over par while freshman Zach Stark finished 60th with a 24-over par final score.
The Hatters will return to action on September 22 when they open play in the Boise State Dash Thomas Memorial Tournament in Boise, Idaho.