Men’s golf: Tribe notches best finish of season at Firestone Invitational

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Tribe golfer Walker Campbell. COURTESY IMAGE / TRIBE ATHLETICS

William and Mary competed in the Firestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio from Oct. 1-2. The three-round tournament was the third competition for the College this fall, and the Tribe’s fifth-place finish was its best of the 2018-19 season thus far. The College got off to a slow start in the first round, but strong second and third round performances helped the Tribe move up the leaderboard and finish as one of only five teams with an overall score that was under-par.

Monday, the Tribe struggled to keep pace with the leaders and were 14 shots off of the lead at the end of the round. Out of 17 teams competing in the tournament, the College shot a four-over 292 placing it in 10th. Only one player for the College finished with a score under par, a one-under 71 by junior Ben Morris. The leader after the opening round was Connecticut with a 10-under 278. The Huskies first round score was the low-round of the tournament.

The College’s best round was the second round on Monday afternoon. The College had the second-lowest score in the round, only behind Old Dominion’s nine-under 279. The Tribe had four players finish under par for the round which facilitated its six-under 282. The College jumped three spots on the leaderboard and sat in seventh-place going into the final round.

Tuesday, the Tribe could not match its six-under effort from the second round, but it still turned in a solid one-over 289. The College was under par for most of the day and was even in fourth place at one point during the round. The Tribe finished six strokes behind team champion Akron after finishing with a total score of a one-under 863. This score allowed the Tribe to continue to climb the leaderboard. A slow start in the first round when nine teams finished with rounds under par cost the College a chance for an even higher finish. Nevertheless, the College’s fifth-place result marks its highest finish of the fall.

On the individual side, the College was led by junior Walker Campbell. Similar to the team as whole, Campbell bounced back from an opening-round 74 and improved in both the second and third rounds. He posted a 71 and a 70 in the final two rounds in order to finish as the only golfer on the Tribe to finish under par with a one-under 215. Campbell finished just outside the top-10 in a tie for 12th. Campbell finished nine strokes behind the individual champion, Ohio’s Zach Crawford.

The Tribe also benefited from strong efforts by sophomore Trevor Hecht and senior David Hicks. Hecht and Hicks both finished one-over for the tournament and in a tie for 22nd. Morris was the lone golfer under par for the College in the first round after firing a 71, but he shot a 73 and a 75 in the last two rounds and ended up in a tie for 34th.

The College will look to build on the momentum of a strong finish at the Firestone Invitational when it plays in the Georgetown Intercollegiate Oct. 15-16. This tournament will be another two-day, three-round tournament and will be the College’s penultimate competition of the fall season.