Cullowhee, N.C. - Paced by freshman Chandler Metz who was playing in his first collegiate tournament, the Western Carolina men's golf team slipped two spots in the final standings on Monday, finishing tied for sixth at the season-opening Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate played on the Kaluhyat Course at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, N.Y. The Catamounts matched VCU with a 54-hole team score of 924.
Metz, one of two freshmen from Wilkes Central High on the Catamount roster and in the scoring five, posted a career-low round of 2-under par, 70, on Monday to jump 15 spots in the final standings. The Wilkesboro, N.C., native carded a three-round score of 227 (83-74-70) to finish tied for 16th overall.
Opening on the back nine, Metz bogeyed his first hole on the par-4 16th before countering with a birdie on No. 17 to turn to the front nine even. Consecutive holes of birdie and eagle moved him to 3-under par with a third birdie on the par-3 fifth moving the rookie to 4-under par with six holes to play. His fourth birdie of the final round -- and eighth of the tournament -- on the par-4 10th moved Metz to 5-under par. He closed the round with a double-bogey on No. 11 and a bogey on No. 14 to shoot 2-under, 70.
Senior Dylan MacQueen, who led WCU through the first two rounds on Sunday, slipped 16 positions on Monday into a tie for 23rd overall. The Woodstock, Ontario, native finished with rounds of 79, 69, and 81 for a two-day score of 229. He had seven holes of bogey-or-worse on Monday countered by a birdie on the par-4 fourth for a second-straight round.
All told, Metz and MacQueen both had eight birdies at the tournament.
Rounding out WCU's scoring five were senior Bright Julamool (84-75-75) in a tie for 33rd, advancing five spots in the final round, while freshman Zach Caudill (76-83-82) finished tied for 49th and senior Jackson Bishop (95-76-83) in a tie for 75th overall. Julamool countered three bogies and a double-bogey with a pair of birdies in his 3-over par round of 75. Caudill had one birdie against seven scores of bogey-or-worse, while Bishop stumbled on the par-5 sixth with a plus-five, shooting 11-over par, 83.
Five-time returning event champion -- and tournament host, Missouri -- put six golfers including its scoring five and an individual inside the top seven overall to claim the team championship going away. Tigers' golfer Hayden Buckley edged teammate Rory Franssen by a stroke, 209-to-210, as the two dueled over the two-day event.
Mizzou shot 20-under par, 844, as a team to win its sixth-consecutive event title, while the runner-up, UNCW, was 30-over par at 894. Boston College finished third at 908, with St. Peters (915) and Cleveland State (923) rounding out the top five.
Collectively as a team, Western Carolina finished fourth in the tournament field in par-4 scoring. WCU charted 148 pars as a squad with 29 combined birdies while matching UNCW with a tourney-best two eagles -- one by Bishop in the second round on the par-5 sixth and the second by Metz on Monday.
Western Carolina returns to action Sept. 18-19 at the Memphis Intercollegiate, hosted at the Colonial Country Club, before hosting the 12th annual Hummingbird Intercollegiate at the beautiful Country Club of Sapphire Valley. MacQueen finished third individually last year at the Colonial before winning the Hummingbird just ahead of Bishop. This year's home tournament returns to a 54-hole format for just the second time in the history of the event, and will also be played earlier than usual.
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