March 24, 2013
Greenville, S.C. - Western Carolina sophomore J.T. Poston recorded his fifth top-five finish of the season, completing the 44th annual Furman Intercollegiate Sunday afternoon in a tie for fourth place to lead the Catamounts to a sixth-place showing at the par-72, 6,994-yard Furman University Golf Course. WCU carded a team 309 in the third round to shoot 16-over par, 880, for the 54-hole tournament in recording its seventh top-10 team finish of the year.
Play was delayed two hours on Sunday morning due to heavy rain storms that moved through the South Carolina Upstate. Once the clouds lifted, teams played the final round in groups of four to get the final round in the books.
Poston played the front nine at even-par for a second-straight round, countering a pair of bogies with birdies on holes eight and nine before the turn. He was even through 11 holes, but shot bogey on three of his final seven holes to finish at three-over, 75.
Poston led the Catamounts with 13 birdies in the three-round event, finishing at three-under par 213.
Opening his final round in fourth-place after matching his career-low round of 69 on Saturday, senior Steven Smith struggled on the front nine on Sunday. The Kirknewton, Scotland, product bogeyed five of his front nine holes to turn at five-over, but scored par on the first six holes of the back nine. Two bogies on the par-3 16th and par-4 17th left him at seven-over, 79, for the round and two-over par 218 for the event.
Jack Walsh advanced two spots on the final day to finish tied for 49th in the overall standings. Walsh overcame a double-bogey and bogey start, shooting five-over on the front nine. However, the Lawrenceville, Ga., native rallied to come home one-under on the back nine with three birdies against a pair of bogies to shoot four-over, 76, and finish the event at 10-over, 226.
Rounding out WCU's side were redshirt senior Kyle Wilson in a tie for 58th at 227 while junior Greg Bunner advanced five spots in the final standings to finish tied for 72nd overall at 230. Wilson was even par through nine holes, but concluded the tournament with five bogies, three pars and just one birdie for four-over, 76, on Sunday. Bunner shot par on six-straight holes after a bogey to start his final round, making the turn at three-over par before finishing five-over, 77, for the round.
Virginia Tech claimed the event team championship by 19 strokes over second-place North Florida, 843-to-862. Troy finished third with a three-day total of 873, followed by Samford (877) and Iowa State (879). Other notables included Southern Conference foe Chattanooga - ranked 44th in the nation according to GolfStat - in seventh, one stroke in arrears of the Catamounts, with league foes Furman (908) and Wofford (911) finishing tied for 16th and 18th, respectively.
Samford's Drew Aimone and Scott Fernandez from Iowa State shared the individual medalist honors, both shooting seven-under par, 209. Aimone posted a low round of 67 on Sunday to rally from an eighth-place tie to share the title.
Western Carolina's men's golf team returns to action this Thursday, March 28 as it teams with the Catamount women's squad against arch-rival Appalachian State for the University Cup. It is the third-straight season for the co-ed, head-to-head completion held at the Mimosa Hills Country Club in Morganton, N.C. WCU won the first-ever event in 2011, 3.5-to-2.5, with the Mountaineers winning a season ago, 6-1.