The Oglethorpe men's golf team earned a victory in their first tournament of the spring season this week, firing a round of 8-over-par 296 on Tuesday to win the Adidas Intercollegiate with a three-round tally of 19-over 883. The Stormy Petrels finished three strokes ahead of second-place Hampden-Sydney and 14 strokes up on third-place North Carolina Wesleyan. It marked the team's first victory in a tournament since they tied for first at the SAA Fall Preview in early September.
Freshman Justin Rickerson led the way for the Petrels, as he carded 1-under 71 on Tuesday to move up into a tie for fourth at 1-over 217. That put him just a single stroke back of a three-way tie for first between Texas Lutheran's Colin Uecker (who won the individual medal in a playoff), Casey Leebrick of York (Pennsylvania), and Millikin's Michael Barber.
Senior Jacob Arnett followed just behind with a 2-over 74 on Tuesday to finish tied for sixth with a 54-hole total of 3-over 219, just three back of the playoff. Sophomore Anthony DeRosa also posted a 2-over 74 on the day and finished tied for 11th with a 6-over 222 for the week, putting him six back of the lead.
Freshman Isley McClure and senior Kyle Shealy both finished in the top 30. McClure shot a 7-over 79 on the day and finished 23rd with 11-over 227 for the week. Meanwhile, Shealy posted a 5-over 77 on Tuesday for a 13-over 229 over 54 holes, tying for 27th.
At the completion of 45 holes total and nine holes into the round, the Petrels held a five-stroke lead and had taken solid command of the event. At the turn, Rickerson was four-under for the day and Shealy and DeRosa were both even. Over the next five holes, though, the Petrels lost nine strokes and fell four strokes behind Hampden-Sydney.
It looked as though Oglethorpe would have to settle for second place. With two holes to play, though, Oglethorpe made five birdies while Hampden-Sydney came in with a couple of bogeys and a double bogey, flipping the tournament back to the Petrels.
Oglethorpe got clutch play down the stretch by DeRosa, who tied the event up by birdying the 17th and 18th holes. The winning three strokes came from Rickerson, Arnett and Shealy. All three birdied their final holes to secure the three-stroke win for Oglethorpe.
"It was good to get these young guys into a significant final round for the first time this year, battling tooth and nail all the way to the final hole," said Oglethorpe Director of Golf Jim Owen. "We built some confidence, gained some experience, and learned how to both play from ahead and behind. It was good to be able to hold on at the end and secure the victory in our first tournament of the spring."
The Petrels get right back to action on Friday, when they head back to Georgia to host the Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational at the Jekyll Island Golf Club. That 54-hole event is set to take place Friday through Sunday.
Day 1 Recap
The Oglethorpe men's golf team had an outstanding first day at the Adidas Intercollegiate in Beaufort, South Carolina, Monday, shooting 11-over-par 587 over the course of the two rounds to finish the tournament's first 36 holes tied with North Carolina Wesleyan for first and a stroke up on third-place Hampden-Sydney.
The Stormy Petrels shot 4-over 292 during the second round Monday afternoon after posting an opening-round score of 7-over 295. They finished the first round in fourth place and vaulted three spots up the leaderboard into a tie for the top spot with their afternoon round.
They were led by senior Jacob Arnett, who followed up a respectable 3-over 75 morning round with an outstanding 2-under 70 afternoon round to finish the day at 1-over 145. That put him three strokes behind Casey Leebrick of York (Pennsylvania), the individual leader.
Freshman Justin Rickerson also finished the day in the top 10 after firing back-to-back rounds of 1-over 73. He finished the day tied for eighth at 2-over 146, just four back of the lead.
He was joined in the top 15 by both freshman Isley McClure and sophomore Anthony DeRosa. The Petrel pair finished the day tied for 15th at 4-over 148, six back of the lead. DeRosa shot 1-over 73 in the opening round and followed it up with a 3-over 75 in the afternoon. McClure fired consecutive rounds of 2-over 74.
Senior Kyle Shealy finished in the top half of the field, as well, entering the clubhouse at 8-over 152 which was good enough for a 32nd-place tie. He put up identical rounds of 4-over 76.
The Petrels will be back in action Tuesday morning for the final round of the Adidas Intercollegiate. The 17-team field will all get started from the Dataw Island Cotton Dike course with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.