Burlington, N.C. - Western Carolina men's golf senior Dylan MacQueen broke a pair of school records on Tuesday as part of claiming the second individual medalist honors of his Catamount career.
MacQueen blistered the par-71, 6,867-yard course at the Alamance Country Club, finishing just one stroke shy of the course benchmark with a school 18-hole record-setting outing of 9-under par, 62. He finished the 54-hole tournament with a school-record score of 13-under par, 200, in cruising to the top of the leader board, winning the Phoenix Invitational by five strokes over runner-up Brendan MacDougall of High Point.
Tournament host, Elon, won the team title by four strokes over defending event champion, hard-charging Gardner-Webb which shot 10-under par, 274, in the final round to jump from sixth to the runner-up spot.
Opening on the back nine on Tuesday morning, MacQueen shot par on his first hole, the par-4 10th. He then began his onslaught of the course with four-consecutive birdies, making the turn to the back after two additional scores under par to shoot 6-under through nine. The Woodstock, Ontario, native went on to shoot birdie on four of his next seven holes on the front before the lone blemish on his record-setting round.
All told, MacQueen birdied 10 of this final 18 holes with the lone bogey on the par-3 8th preventing him from matching the course record. He did lead the tournament in par-4 scoring at 6-under (3.82) while also recording a tournament-best 20 birdies.
MacQueen broke WCU's single-round record of 64 previously held by Tripp Morrow set back during the 2003-04 season. He was four-strokes better than the school record for a three-round tournament, bettering former Catamount All-American J.T. Poston who carded a 204 at the home Hummingbird Intercollegiate back in the fall of 2013. MacQueen additionally moved into a tie for fourth in program history with his second medalist honors, joining former Catamounts Morrow and Andres Cuenca who also won a pair of tournaments during their collegiate careers.
WCU third-year head coach Tim Eckberg was very impressed of the player he originally recruited to Cardinal Stritch University before he followed his coach a year after Eckberg returned to his alma mater.
"Today was a special day. Dylan is one of the best in the country and it was fun to get to see him put his game on display today. He's been just a little off this season to this point, but he's been trending upward," said Eckberg. "The 36-hole day Monday was close and he started clicking late. He was 1-under par with four to play in the second round. He walked off that tee and looked at me and said, `I'm getting it to four,' and sure enough, he did. Today, I saw him birdie his fourth hole to get it to 3-under and I could tell it in his eyes that it was going to be one of those days. I left him along, honestly. It was one of those grooves, and I just stood back and watched it from the outside."
Eckberg continued, "Dylan is a special player. Not many have a gear like he does to keep a low round going lower without any fear. He needed this win -- and so did we. This is going to motivate and inspire this team that is still trying to click. We have the pieces, just haven't played as a group. Dylan is leading by example, and it's a great spark going into our final event of the fall."
Behind MacQueen, the Catamounts finished in a tie for 10th-place overall in the 16 team field, matching Drexel with a three-round score of 17-over par, 869 -- a season-low.
Senior Jackson Bishop placed in a tie for 54th overall at 222, finishing the round with a 1-over par, 72, on Tuesday. Bishop carded a pair of birdies through his first eight holes, making the turn at 2-under par before a trio of bogies down the stretched relegated him to 1-over. Junior transfer George Whitbread and freshman Michael Coe were tie for 66th overall with matching scores of 225.
Rounding out WCU's scoring five was freshman Chandler Metz in 92nd overall at 237.
Playing unattached as an individual, freshman Zach Caudill finished with a three-round score of 10-over par, 223, to place in a tie for 56th overall, while senior Bright Julamool finished 89th overall at 234.
Western Carolina closes the fall portion of its 2017-18 schedule on Oct. 29-31 at the Kiawah Classic, hosted by Charleston Southern at the Turtle Point Course on Kiawah Island, S.C.