ETSU hangs on for 3-shot win in Myrtle Beach
East Tennessee State had to scramble during the back nine Monday to secure its victory at the General Hackler Championship.
The Bucs, No. 37 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, were staked to a comfortable lead with nine holes left at the TPC of Myrtle Beach (S.C.), but two double bogeys down the stretch put the tournament title in danger. They held it together over the final three holes, finishing at 19-over 883 for a three-shot victory over hard-charging Coastal Carolina. Third-ranked Augusta State placed third at 892, No. 34 Pepperdine finished fourth at 894 and Wake Forest was another shot back at 895.
“We started pretty well, got a bigger lead and then maintained it,” ETSU head coach Fred Warren said. “We’re delighted, especially to beat a strong field on a punishing course like this one because it can be very demanding.”
It was East Tennessee State’s second win in five weeks, following its victory Feb. 8 at the Jacksonville Invitational. In that event, at TPC Sawgrass, the Bucs placed four players in the top 15 and beat ACC teams Wake Forest and Clemson.
On Monday, they just followed the lead of their lone senior.
Seamus Power, No. 129 in Golfweek’s rankings, earned his fourth career individual title, and his first this season, but it wasn’t easy. Power held a three-shot lead when he made the turn, but a double bogey at No. 15 trimmed his lead to one. He parred his final three holes to shoot 75 and tie Pepperdine’s Josh Anderson, who first posted 1-under 215 after birdieing three of his final five holes.
“It’s always nice to win,” Power said. “My game feels good right now, and I was driving it well the last couple days, which helps on a course like this one. The pressure of having everyone chase you is definitely different, but it was fun.”
Power has shown good form this spring, finishing fifth at the Jacksonville Invitational, his best performance since a T-4 at the one-round Jerry Pate Intercollegiate in October. That’s a stark departure from Anderson, who posted a T-9 in Pepperdine’s season-opening event in September, but had failed to crack the top 20 in his past six tournaments.
Rhys Enoch, Power’s ETSU teammate, pulled within a shot of the lead midway through Round 3, but stumbled down the stretch, going 5 over during his final 10 holes to drop into a tie for seventh. Four of ETSU’s five players finished in the top 22.
Wake Forest’s Brendan Gielow, who entered the final round one shot off the lead, tied for third at 216 with Coastal Carolina’s Dan Obremski, while Wake Forest’s Lee Bedford claimed fifth at 217. Augusta State’s Henrik Norlander, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 20, rebounded from a first-round 77 to finish sixth.
– Information from the East Tennessee State athletic department was used in this report.