The Oglethorpe men's golf team picked up their first trophy in over a year Sunday, as they shared top honors with Sewanee at the SAA Fall Preview in Dickson, Tennessee. The Stormy Petrels came back with the low round of the tournament on Sunday afternoon, posting a 3-under-par 285 in the second round to vault from fourth after the morning's opening round into a tie for first with the Tigers. Oglethorpe and Sewanee finished at 3-over 579 for the tournament, a couple strokes ahead of tournament guests Huntingdon. It was the first tournament championship for the Petrels since the 2016 SAA Championship.
With Hurricane Irma bearing down on the southeastern U.S., the originally scheduled 2-day tournament was compressed to a single day, with all 36 holes played on Sunday. The Petrels found themselves in fourth place after Sunday morning's opening round, posting a 6-over 294 to enter the afternoon's final round five strokes behind first-place Huntingdon and a single stroke back of a second-place tie between Sewanee and Birmingham-Southern. They played excellent golf in the afternoon, though, posting a score four strokes better than any team score in the opening round.
The Petrels got some outstanding work from a couple of freshmen, both of whom finished in the tournament's top 10. Oglethorpe was led by freshman Tyler Rover, who finished tied for third in his first collegiate tournament after posting a 2-under 70 for the final round and a 1-under 143 for the day. He finished just two strokes back of Huntingdon's Henry Gee for the individual medal. He played his eight par-5s in 5-under-par on Sunday. In addition, Anthony DeRosa finished tied for eighth after recording an even-par 72 for the final round and a 2-over 146 for the tournament. He came in just five back of the tournament lead, as did junior Jacob Arnett.
Arnett fired a tournament-low round of 4-under 68 on Sunday afternoon, vaulting himself into the top 10 with a 2-over 146 overall. Fellow junior Kyle Shealy finished tied for 14th with a 3-over 147 for the tournament, putting himself six strokes back. In addition, senior Michael Sheahan tied Shealy for 14th while golfing as an individual, carding a 1-under 71 during the final round for his total of 147.
Sophomores Ron Johnson and Kenny Park rounded out Oglethorpe's official scorecard, posting scores of 153 and 157, respectively. Sophomore Logan Fuglestad and junior Jake Thomas also competed as individuals, and carded scores of 159 and 162, respectively.
"It's great to get back into the win column after so long," said Oglethorpe head coach Jim Owen. "I thought we played very well in the afternoon's second round. We really put our foot on the gas and started playing some outstanding golf. Rover and DeRosa, especially, were very good, with this being their first collegiate event. I think this serves as an excellent springboard to the NCAA Fall Preview in two weeks' time. It should be a good confidence builder and really help us get off to a great start to this fall season, hopefully."
The Petrels will now get ready for the Tournament Town Championship Preview in Greensboro, North Carolina, in two weeks. That event will serve as the NCAA Fall Preview, as it will take place at Grandover Resort, the site of the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship.