Kennesaw State goes back-to-back at men's ASUN Championship

Kennesaw State A SUN wins @KSUOwlsMGolf

Kennesaw State goes back-to-back at men's ASUN Championship

Men

Kennesaw State goes back-to-back at men's ASUN Championship

Here is a recap of the 2017 ASUN Championship at The Legends at Chateau Elan in Braselton, Ga., which concluded Monday:

FULL RESULTS: Team | Individual

TEAM CHAMPION: Kennesaw State (1-under 863). The Owls struggled a bit after a surprising fall that saw them jump to No. 19 in the rankings. But they still entered conference play at No. 32 and the highest-ranked team in the conference. And they got the job done. Kennesaw State entered the final round with a 10-shot lead but got a huge fight from Lipscomb – as the Bison actually took the lead at one point on the final day. The Owls wrestled it back, though, squeaking out a one-shot win in the end after a final-round 7-over 295. This is a successful repeat, as Kennesaw State earned a seven-shot victory at last year’s event. Jake Fendt and Pablo Rodriguez-Tabernero led the way for the Owls this year, as both tied for second at 2 under. Kennesaw State had four top-12 finishers overall. With this win, the Owls are now guaranteed an NCAA Regional spot for the seventh straight year.

INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION: Dawson Armstrong, Lipscomb (6-under 210). It’s fitting that Armstrong captured this title, as the Lipscomb junior is by now used to taking names and making history. Armstrong took control of this tournament with a second round 3-under 69 to grab a one-shot lead. Frankly, he put up a heck of a fight in the first round. Armstrong bogeyed two of his first four holes in Round 1 and was 3 over through 13. He then proceeded to finish birdie-par-birdie-birdie-eagle to post an opening 70. From there, the 69 followed, and on the final day he held steady. Scoring conditions remained tough and Armstrong started with eight pars and a bogey. Solid stuff, but he then birdied Nos. 10, 11 and 13 to put this tournament away and give Lipscomb its first ASUN individual men’s conference champion. Armstrong burst onto the golfing scene with a shocking victory at the 2015 Western Amateur. His college record in the following two years has shown that win was no fluke. Armstrong finished out his 2015-16 season ranked 72nd in the country and entered this week at No. 37 for the 2016-17 season. Armstrong was named ASUN Player of the Year both of these campaigns. This is his sixth college win, and the third of his 2016-17 season.

QUOTABLE: “The team showed some great resiliency and continued to grind it out. … I told the guys to continue to battle and that we were still in it and could get it done.” – Kennesaw State head coach Bryant Odom, to Kennesaw State Athletics

CHIP SHOTS: Defending champion David Wicks, who shared ASUN Player of the Year honors with Armstrong this season, finished in a tie for eighth at 1 over. Odd parallel: Armstrong finished tie for eighth at this event when Wicks won it last year. … Wicks and his Jacksonville squad really stuck together, as three tied for eighth and another was just one behind that group in solo 11th at 2 over. … In a seven-team field, there were three squads that were nowhere near NCAA Regional-caliber and four that were. The leaderboard played out that way. No. 32 Kennesaw State (first, 1 under), No. 38 Lipscomb (second, even par), No. 42 Jacksonville (third, 5 over) and No. 35 North Florida (fourth, 7 over) are all highly likely to receive regional bids – well, the Owls already clinched with the conference title of course. For a small conference, the ASUN will have a large presence at regionals. … The best individual finisher on a team outside the top four was South Carolina-Upstate’s Matt Carter, who finished 3 over for a tie for 12th.

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