Kiawah Island, S.C. – Carding back-to-back rounds of 1-over par 73 on consecutive days, Western Carolina men’s golf freshman Tumi Kúld turned in a top-10 finish in his collegiate debut to pace the squad. The Catamounts shot 14 strokes better in Monday’s second round at The Invitational at The Ocean Course, firing a team score of 311 but were unable to improve their position in the standings, placing 14th in the season-opening event with a score of 636.
With the mandatory evacuation of coastal South Carolina ordered by the state’s governor on Monday that goes into effect at Noon on Tuesday due to the approach of Hurricane Florence, the final round of The Invitational has been canceled. Tied at 1-over par 577 after 36 completed holes, tournament host College of Charleston edged SMU in a playoff. All five starters from both teams played the par-3 17th hole with the best four scores determining the total to declare the event winner.
Kúld overcame a 2-over par start with bogeys on two of his first five holes on Monday, making the turn to the front nine with a birdie on the par-4 18th to sit at 1-over. The product of Akureyri, Iceland birdied the par-5 No. 2 for a second straight day to move back to even par with seven holes to play. A bogey on the par-4 third left him 1-over par for the round as he played the final six holes even to match his career-best collegiate score of 73.
All told, Kúld tied for the tournament lead with 28 pars over the 36 holes that were completed. He shot 2-under par (4.63) on the par-5 holes and was 1-over (3.13) on the par-3 layouts, finishing in a seven-way tie for 10th in the standings.
Sophomore Zach Caudill climbed 10 spots in the individual order to place in a tie for 56th overall, trimming six strokes off his opening-round 81 to shoot 3-over par 75 on Monday. He countered four bogeys – two aside – with a birdie on the par-4, hole No. 6 on his way into the clubhouse. Caudill finished with a team-high tying four birdies to match Kúld while shooting even-par on the par-3 layouts.
Senior George Whitbread was seven-strokes better on Monday (84-77 = 161) to finish in a tie for 72nd overall, while second-year strikers Chandler Metz (87-87 = 174) and Michael Coe (92-86 = 178) rounded out the scoring five in 80th and 81st, respectively.
Behind CofC and SMU, Maryland came home third, seven-strokes in arrears at 584, with Ole Miss (586) jumping three spots on the final day into fourth. Georgia Southern and James Madison finished tied for the fifth position with matching scores of 592.
Tied for the individual lead after the first 18 holes, SMU’s Ollie Osborne carded a second-round score of 1-under par, 71, to edge out hard-charging Jackson Suber of Ole Miss to claim individual medalist honors by a stroke, 141-to-142. Suber jumped 26 spots in the individual standings with a 5-under par round of 67 on Monday. CofC’s Michel Sass and first-round co-leader Peter Knade of Maryland finished tied for third, two strokes off the pace at 143.
Western Carolina now turns its attention to its home tournament, the Hummingbird Intercollegiate that is scheduled Oct. 1-2 at the beautiful Country Club of Sapphire Valley. Teams are scheduled for 54 holes over two days of competition on the pristine golf course at the start of the leaf-changing season in western North Carolina.