February 22, 2011

Golfers Hoist Hardware at Wynlakes Wynter International

The men's golf team posted the low round of the tournament (293) on Tuesday to capture the Wynlakes Wynter International title in Montgomery, Ala. The Petrels topped host Huntingdon by two strokes to earn the win.

Oglethorpe trailed the Hawks by 8 strokes following round one after opening with a team total of 318 on a blustery Monday but the team 293 score on Tuesday was 10 strokes better than any other team in the field. The competition included four of the Top 25 teams in the nation from the most recent Nike/Golf World Coaches Poll with No. 7 Oglethorpe besting No. 2 Huntingdon, No. 3 Methodist and No. 20 Emory. Rhodes College also participated in the Wynlakes Wynter International and the Lynx are among 15 squads also receiving votes in the most recent poll.

Sophomore Eric Quinn shook off a scary knee injury from the Christmas break to win medalist honors at the first tournament of the spring with an outstanding two-day total of 75-70-145 (+1). Junior Craig Stevenson rallied from an opening round 82 to post a 71 on Tuesday and finish in a tie for third place overall 9-over par for the tournament.

Freshman Patrick Cansfield went 79-78 for a total of 157 (+13), good for a tie for 13th place while senior Jordan Hall carded a two-day total of 158 (+14) to come home in a tie for 16th. Junior Matt Bernstein rounded out the scoring for the "A" squad with 159 (+15) to finish tied for 22nd.

The Petrels also entered two inviduals in the field who performed admirably as freshmen. Hayden Jones followed his day one score of 78 with the low round of the tournament on Tuesday with a 69 to finish at 4-over par. Anthony Amodeo posted rounds of 77-82 to finish up with a total of 159 (+15).

The seventh ranked Petrels will be back in action in the Oglethorpe-Trine University Dual on March 10.

Complete Wynlakes Wynter Internationals Tournament results are linked here.

Included below is head coach Jim Owen's account of the Petrels win at Wynlakes

OGLETHORPE STORMS BACK FROM EIGHT STROKES TO WIN THE WYNLAKES WYNTERNATIONALS

FEBRUARY 24, 2011
Montgomery, Alabama

The Stormy Petrels spotted Huntingdon College eight strokes on their home course in Montgomery after day one of the Wynlakes Wynternationals and came roaring back on day two to win the inaugural event at Wynlakes Country Club. The Petrels were battling the elements as well as #2 ranked Huntingdon and #3 ranked Methodist University all day and it looked like the three teams would finish in a virtual tie after day one. However, on the final three holes, Oglethorpe stumbled back, losing seven strokes to par and found themselves eight back of Huntingdon and three back of Methodist in third place. Sophomore Eric Quinn of Norcross, Georgia held the first round lead individually with a three over 75 in the wind blown first round conditions. A steady 10-15mph wind blew across the par 72 -6975 yard lay out all day with gust to 25mph offsetting the 70 degree temperatures in February and making for a tough first round of the spring season.

Oglethorpe was paired with Huntingdon and Methodist on day two as well and came out with a great front nine and closed the gap on Huntingdon considerably and roared past Methodist easily into second place. It was apparent the back nine was going to be a two team finish. Huntingdon settled in and kept their lead through the first six holes on the back nine. As the Stormy Petrels crossed in front of the clubhouse from the 15th green to the 16th  tee the determination to "finish" the round seemed in place….and finish they did.

Junior Jordan Hall played the difficult three final holes in one over but picked up a stroke on his Huntingdon opponent and shaved one stroke off the Huntingdon lead with his 75. Junior Matt Bernstein finished strong with a par on both 16 & 17 and a clutch birdie on the treacherous 18th hole to finish with a 77 and continue the surge. Freshman Patrick Cansfield finished with three pars in a row and outdueled his Huntingdon playing partner by one and that left Quinn in the eighteenth fairway in great position to seal the deal for Oglethorpe. Quinn had started his day with a par on number one and then broke his eight iron head on his approach. The ball sailed onto the back shelf of the second green the head of the eight iron splashed into the pond in the front of the green. Rattled by the events and facing a lengthy putt he proceeded to three putt to go to one over. On the third tee, facing the howling crosswind, Quinn's tee shot got caught in the wind and he found his tee ball  a foot out of bounds leading to a double bogey six. So as he met Coach Owen on the fourth tee box he was three over through three holes and a little wobbly.

Playing with great resiliency Quinn birdied both number five and seven then took advantage of the downwind ninth hole making a ten footer for eagle to turn at one under par. The ninth hole was a pivotal hole for Oglethorpe on day two as the five team members played the hole in six under par and the two individuals on the trip played the hole in three under. Bernstein and Quinn made eagles and Stevenson and Hall made birdie. Individual competitor Hayden Jones eagled the hole and freshman Anthony Amodeo birdied it so the seven players in the tournament  for OU played the hole in nine under par.

As Quinn, playing in the final group of the day, made the turn to the back nine the resolve of the team seemed to be in place for a unlikely eight stroke comeback over the host school…..but they had to finish the round on the final nine holes. With the rest of the team off the course and Quinn in the fairway on the final hole, now three under par, he needed to beat his playing partner by five to force a playoff and by six to win outright. He won by seven to give the Stormy Petrels a two stroke victory. It was Oglethorpe's first win since the 2009 NCAA National Championship victory in Port St Lucie.

Quinn earned medalist honors and Craig Stevenson finished third to give Oglethorpe two in the top five. Cansfield finished 13th and Hall was 16th with Bernstein tied with IND Amodeo for 22nd. Freshman Hayden Jones, Orlando, FL fired an opening round 78 but followed it up with a sterling three under par 69 to come within two strokes of Quinn for medalist honors.

Oglethorpe will host the Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational March 18-20. Before they leave for Jekyll they will reunite with an old friend Olafur Loftsson and the Charlotte 49ers. Charlotte is traveling to FSU for a mid March tournament and arrangements have been made for the two teams to play a match on Monday March 7th at 1:30 at Royal Lakes Golf and Country Club in Flowery Branch, GA. Olafur was an exchange student at Oglethorpe for one year and helped lead the team to the 2009 NCAA Championship. After his one year stint at Oglethorpe Coach Owen was able to connect him with the Charlotte program to finish his collegiate career.

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