Sapphire, N.C. - - Western Carolina senior Jackson Bishop saved his best for last on Tuesday, carding a team-low round of 2-under par, 69, to jump 15 spots into a tie for 18th-place in the final standings as play concluded at the 2017 Hummingbird Intercollegiate. Behind Bishop's rally, WCU was the biggest mover on the final day, climbing into tie for seventh place at the par-71, 6,767-yard Country Club of Sapphire Valley.
WCU followed its opening two rounds of 297 and 298 with a 289 on Tuesday to close its home tournament with a 54-hole score of 884.
Held a month earlier in the calendar with the assistance and approval of the Club membership, the 2017 Hummingbird Intercollegiate was among the most successful in the event's 12-year history which began back in 2004 that included perhaps the most ideal playing conditions. This year marked the 11th-straight year the first-class facility hosted the collegiate event, one of the many drawing points for the tournament that drew its largest NCAA Division I competition field since 2011.
Playing out at a length of 54 holes for just the second-time in tournament history, Gardner-Webb rode its strong opening two rounds to set a tournament three-round record at 856 and held off hard-charging Elon (859) for the team championship. Morehead State advanced two spots over the final 18 holes, finishing tied with Central Arkansas at 869 with Radford rounding out the top five at 876.
Western Carolina finished tied with Marshall for seventh-place with matching scores of 884. That knot was followed by Austin Peay (890) in ninth with a pair of two-way ties rounding out the field -- Belmont and Charleston Southern tied for 10th at 892 while Presbyterian and Colgate finished tied for 12th a stroke in arrears at 893.
Competing as an individual, Clemson's Colby Patton posted three rounds under par including back-to-back rounds of 66 to open the tournament on Monday and a 1-under round of 70 Tuesday to claim individual medalist honors. He is the 12th different medalist in tournament history. Patton's 11-under par score was the lowest 54-hole score in tournament history, eclipsing the previous record of 204 set by former Catamount J.T. Poston back in 2013.
Lewis George of Central Arkansas and Duke individual Evan Katz tied for the runner-up position, two strokes in arrears at 204. George posted three rounds in the 60s while Katz followed-up his opening-round 70 with consecutive rounds of 67.
For the tournament host Catamounts, Bishop countered a pair of bogies with four birdies on Tuesday. The Gainesville, Ga., native carded his best round of the season at 216 -- the fourth-lowest, three-round score of his career. Much like his classmate, senior Dylan MacQueen also climbed double-digit positions over the final 18 holes, advancing 13 spots into a tie for 26th. The Woodstock, Ontario, native had an up-and-down day as he was able to counter five bogies with four birdies for the 1-over par round of 72, finishing the event at 220.
WCU freshman Chandler Metz finished tied for 45th overall, up six spots on Tuesday after matching his second round with a consecutive score of 74. Metz carded a pair of birdies against five bogies in the last round. Senior Bright Julamool finished tied for 70th overall with a score of 230. The Bangkok, Thailand, native was poised for a round in the 60s, entering the final three holes at 2-under par. However, consecutive double bogies and a final bogey relegated him to a score of 3-over, 74.
Rounding out WCU's scoring five was junior transfer George Whitbread who withdrew during Tuesday's final round due to injury. He had posted consecutive rounds of 75 on Monday before receiving treatment prior to the final 18 holes. The Colchester, England product began the round Tuesday before being forced to the sidelines.
Playing unattached as individuals, WCU freshmen Michael Coe and Zach Caudill finished tied for 45th and 78th, respectively. Coe finished tied with his classmate, Metz, with a three-round score of 224 (74-76-74), recording an albatross -- or a double-eagle -- on the par-5 14th in the first round to go along with five total birdies. Caudill shot 236 (79-76-81), charting two birdies on the opening 18 holes.
Western Carolina has two remaining fall tournaments, returning to action Oct. 16-17 at the Phoenix Intercollegiate, hosted by Elon at the Alamance Country Club in Burlington, N.C.