Wake Forest women, Texas men finish fall seasons as East Lake Cup champions

JuliaKate E. Culpepper/Golfweek

Wake Forest women, Texas men finish fall seasons as East Lake Cup champions

College

Wake Forest women, Texas men finish fall seasons as East Lake Cup champions

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ATLANTA — The Wake Forest women’s team and Texas men’s team are first-time East Lake Cup champions after battling talented opponents and rainy conditions on Wednesday during the final day at East Lake Golf Club.

Wake Forest, the No. 5 women’s college team in the nation, convincingly won the East Lake Cup in its first tournament appearance, defeating Auburn 4-1.

Wake Forest senior Siyun Liu was the first Demon Deacon to win her championship match, 5-and-4 over Auburn’s Kaleigh Telfer. While the windy, damp conditions made it difficult for both golfers on the first few holes, Liu said she was able to break away when she avoided the rough. She said she also kept thinking about her teammates.

“In the beginning, we both played kind of bad, but I kind of put myself back into position to start playing some normal golf and just hit it in the fairway and hit the green,” “(Telfer) kind of got in some trouble in the rough and just tried to like make sure I’m not the one making mistakes. In the end, I was just tried to finish this match as quickly as possible so I could go support my teammates.”

Liu and Telfer were tied through the fifth hole, but Liu, from Shanghai, China, was able to win six of the next seven holes to seal her match.

Emilia Migliaccio was the second Demon Deacon to win her match, 1 up over Auburn freshman Megan Schofill.

The deciding match was won by freshman Lauren Walsh, who defeated Auburn’s Julie McCarthy, 2 up.

The Wake Forest women’s golf team won the 2019 East Lake Cup at East Lake Golf Club on Oct. 30, 2019. (JuliaKate E. Culpepper/Golfweek)

“I think it was a team effort this week,” Wake Forest coach Kim Lewellen said. “Each day they continued to get better and better, figure out the golf course and then when it came down to match play, they just strategically thought through it very well, watched what their players were doing and were fortunate enough to come out on top.”

Freshman Rachel Kuehn was the fourth Demon Deacon to win her match, 3-and-2 over Auburn’s Mychael O’Berry. Auburn sophomore Brooke Sansom was the only Tiger to win her championship match, defeating Vanessa Knecht 4-and-3.

The East Lake Cup is the final event of Wake Forest’s fall season, so headed into a break and then the spring, Lewellen said the win is advantageous.

“This (format) is how our conferences and also how our NCAAs set up so it’s great practice for that on such a good golf course so I think it’ll give them confidence headed into the spring,” Lewellen said.

No. 2 Arizona won the consolation match over No. 1 Duke. Arizona’s Ya Chun Chang, Vivian Hou and Therese Warner won their matches to take third place, while Duke’s two matches were won by Erica Shepherd and Ana Belac.

Wake Forest’s next tournament is the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge on Feb. 9, 2020.

Texas grinds for first East Lake Cup win

The Longhorns have made three East Lake Cup appearances, but won their first Wednesday thanks to a steady performance by freshman Travis Vick.

In the final championship match to finish, Vick defeated Rayhan Thomas 1 up with a par putt on 18 to secure Texas’ first East Lake Cup.

“I had many of these putts,” Vick said of his tournament-winning putt on 18, “it was about five feet breaking downhill right from left and I missed a couple early in the match on the low side so I made a quick adjustment by playing just a touch more break and was fortunate enough to make a putt.”

The Texas men’s golf team won the 2019 East Lake Cup at East Lake Golf Club on Oct. 30, 2019. (JuliaKate E. Culpepper/Golfweek)

“This was a big day for Travis because he got in the situation where he needed to really go deep into his heart and he did it,” Fields said. “He had to hit two remarkable 7 irons on a bad, bad lies on the 18th and then he made that 4 ½, 5-foot putt to win the tournament.”

Conditions were damp and windy throughout the morning and early afternoon, but the rain picked up significantly while Vick and Cole Hammer finished the only remaining championship matches, making the final few holes much more difficult for each golfer.

“It impacts a lot,” Vick said. “It’s hard to hold a club, your grip gets slippery, the ball doesn’t go as far because it’s raining and it’s hard to concentrate.”

Moments before Vick sank the winning putt, Hammer lost his championship match to Austin Eckroat, 3 and 1. Texas sophomore Pierceson Coody also lost his match Wednesday 4 and 3 to Oklahoma State freshman Brian Stark.

Texas senior Spencer Soosman was the first Longhorn to win his match, 5 and 3 over Oklahoma State’s Hazen Newman. Soosman took the lead after Newman bogeyed the ninth hole and Soosman was able to separate from Newman after an eagle on 11. After Newman bogeyed 13, Soosman birdied 14 to sit 4 up and then take the match on 15.

Parker Coody was the second Longhorn to win, defeating Oklahoma State’s Aman Gupta 1 up.

The East Lake Cup victory marks the final event of Texas’ fall season. The Longhorns’ next event is the Amer Invitational on Feb. 6, 2020.

“Any time you win and you get a win like this, you get momentum and you get excitement and you get to rest for a couple of months with a smile on your face,” Fields said.

Vanderbilt defeated the Wake Forest men’s team 3-2 Wednesday in the men’s consolation match.

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