The No. 23 ranked Georgia Southern men’s golf team successfully defended their Colleton River Collegiate title as they rebounded from a tough opening round and held off No. 21 ranked Kansas State by two strokes Tuesday in Bluffton for the victory.
Hogan Ingram and Ben Carr each posted rounds of 68 to lead the Eagles to a third-round total of 281 and the team title at the Colleton River Club Jack Nicklaus Course.
The Eagles win the event for the second straight year and the third time overall. It was Georgia Southern's second team tournament title of the season and their third win overall.
After struggling in the first round the Eagles (-34) shot the second-lowest round of the day after matching the lowest team score in Monday’s second round. Tournament host Michigan State (-26) finished third, Rutgers (-25) took fourth and Penn State (-24) was fifth. The field featured 12 teams in top-100 and five in top-50.
“We didn’t get off to the fastest start in the opening round, but we stayed patient,” said Eagle coach Carter Collins. “The big key for us is we finished the first round strong and made some big pars and birdies to finish 7-under. That kept us within distance of the leaders and then we played great in the second-round shooting 20-under. That momentum carried into Tuesday and even in tough wind conditions our guys played fantastic.”
Carr posted a bogey free round which included birdies at 3, 13, 14 and 15 to finish the tournament 10-under and tie for second. Carr had just returned to the States Saturday after missing the cut by just two strokes in his first professional event, The Puerto Rico Open. Carr played the event as an amateur and shot rounds of 71 and 74. Collins caddied for Carr at the event.
“I didn’t know how full his tank was coming back from Puerto Rico as he put a lot into that tournament,” Collins said. “He wanted to be here for his teammates and that says a lot about him. He played great and was a big reason we got the win. I think he played well enough to make the cut in Puerto Rico and I think that experience really let him see he belongs out there with those professionals on the tour.”
Wilson Andress backed up a 69-69-day Monday with a 71 and tied for 13th at 7-under.
Ingram birdied two of his first four holes of the day and played his last 13 holes bogey free with birdies on 9, 11 and 18 to reach 5-under for the tournament and tie for 23rd along with teammate Mason Williams, who was paced by his 69-66 in Monday's first two rounds. Freshman Parker Claxton who shot 72-68 Monday, posted a 74 today for the Eagles' final counting score.
Next up Georgia Southern hosts the 43rd Schenkel Invitational, one of the premiere events and longest running tournaments in college golf, at Forest Heights Golf Club March 17-19.