The Valdosta Daily Times
Valdosta State struggled to find consistency, while Barry erased a nine-shot deficit to win the First Federal Southeastern Collegiate golf tournament at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club Tuesday.
The Buccaneers shot a 2-under-par 286 to past Florida Southern, the day one leader, and win the tournament by four strokes at 6-over.
Florida Southern’s Tim Crouch was the individual champion, after he shot a final round 4-under 68. Crouch’s win came by five strokes over Eckerd’s Jeff Evanier and Barry’s Adam Svensson.
Valdosta State finished tied for seventh at 36-over-par, after shooting a final day 306.
“It is very disappointing,” Valdosta State head coach Jared Purvis said. “You never want to perform poorly in your own tournament. It was a top-notch field; we knew it was going to be difficult to win. But, today’s performance was just disappointing.”
John Fordham, who shot a 10-over 82 in his second round on Monday, was the lowest finisher for Valdosta State in the tournament. The Colquitt County native shot opening and closing rounds of 72 and finished tied for 27th at 10-over-par.
Fordham’s even-par on Tuesday was aided by a birdie on the par-3 17th.
“It was a great bounce back by Fordham,” Purvis said. “It shows that this group never gives up. That was a tremendous bounce back for him.”
VSU’s Clarke Hendrick shot a final round 75 to finish tied for 36th, while Abdul Sihag shot a final day 78 and finished tied for 44th. Nate Anderson, who was tied for 12th entering Tuesday’s final round, struggled and closed out his third round with a nine-over 81.
After starting his third round with a bogey, Anderson posted a bogey on the par-5 4th, and on the par-4 seventh. He also double bogeyed Nos. 5 and 6.
“He definitely had a chance to make a run at it, but once you get off to a start like,” Purvis said. “It is easier to bounce back in the second round than the final round.”
Anderson finished tied for 32nd in the tournament.
Drew McGuire’s scores didn’t count for the Blazers. He shot a final round 85.
“It is a championship golf course 365 days of the year,” Purvis said, when asked about differences his golfers might’ve seen in the course this week. “The pins are always in difficult locations. So there is very little difference in (the course) from when we play it on a consistent basis to when we play it for our tournament. We practice from the same tees. There is very little difference.”
Golfers fought brisk temperatures and gusty winds again on Tuesday, not to mention a wet golf course in the morning after rain soaked the championship course over night. Temperatures never made it out of the low 60s.
“This morning, it was quite chilly,” Purvis said. “It warmed up in the afternoon, but, in the end, everyone is still playing in the same conditions. It is our course. We should have performed much better.”
Moving forward, the Blazers will compete in the Bobcat Intercollegiate next week before traveling to Miami for the Buccaneer Invitational in early April, their final tournament before the Gulf South Conference championship April 22-23.
The NCAA Super Regional will be held in early Mary in Howie-in-the-Hills, Fla.
“We have not played either (the GSC or Regional course),” Purvis said. “What I’ve heard, this course is similar to the once at conference. I’ve heard the region course can be tough. I’ve heard it has a little more tree line and hilly.”