In their third event of the spring season, the Western Carolina Catamount golf team placed 17th, beating out conference rivals Appalachian State, Davidson, and The Citadel at the Furman Invitational held in Greenville, SC.
Virginia Tech won the team event, shooting a three-round total of 864 (292, 289, 283) to edge out the home-standing Paladin ‘A’ squad by four strokes.
The Catamounts finished with a three-day total of 925 (306, 309, 310), one stroke ahead of Davidson and six strokes back from Chattanooga. WCU also bested mountain-rival Appalachian State by two strokes after playing the final round head-to-head with ASU and UTC.
“As a Catamount, beating App is big. But that’s what we want is to beat conference schools. It’s respectability. They’re good teams and that’s what we’re striving for,” head coach Johnny Wike said.
Individually, the Catamounts shot relatively well, according to Wike. The team was led by sophomore Bryan Sangid and junior Lee Cline, whose three-day totals of 229 were good enough for tie 57th.
“There were a lot of good teams in Greenville,” said Wike, speaking of the most recent tournament. “The thing I’m seeing is that we get three guys at every tournament to shoot in the mid-70s. But it’s not the same three each time. We’ve got to get more consistent.”
The third player to step up at Furman was freshman Jason Huguet. He shot an opening round team-best 74, followed by 76 and 80 to finish one stroke behind his teammates with 230.
Sophomore David Zachrich and junior Jason Sugg came home with 243 and 251, respectively.
Wike commented that Sangid and Huguet have played pretty consistently all spring, with others stepping up at particular tournaments. Wike mentioned Cline’s performance in Greenville, Zachrich’s performance in the previous tournament in Charleston, and Greg Lewis’s performance in the Catamounts’ fourth-place finish at Winthrop from earlier in the spring as examples.
“What we’ve got to do is find five guys that are the most consistent and put them out there together on one weekend,” said Wike. “But we’re showing progress and have two consistent and three that have shown the capabilities, and that’s encouraging.”
Western Carolina will return to action April 6-7 in Greenville, NC, as they play in the ECU Pirate Invitational at the Bradford Creek Country Club. Wike said that Bradford Creek is a “nice course that isn’t too difficult.”
“I think our guys have a good chance of shooting some good scores on Bradford,” said Wike. “The first time a WCU team shot below 290 was at Bradford four or five years ago.”
It will be WCU’s final regular-season tournament before they compete for the conference crown April 20-22 in Chattanooga.