Raleigh, N.C. - Sophomore Mark David Johnson put the finishing touches on a 1-under par tournament performance, finishing tied for 16th overall to lead Western Carolina to an eighth-place tie at the Wolfpack Spring Open which concluded Saturday at the par-71, 7,046-yard Lonnie Poole Golf Course.
WCU posted a 54-hole score of 865 (293-283-289) in its final regular season tournament, finishing behind fellow conference members UNCG (6th, 853) and ahead of ETSU (10th, 867).
Johnson advanced nine spots in the final round of competition on Saturday. Opening on the back nine, the St. Simons Island, Ga., native bounced back from a double-bogey on the 10th to birdie the second hole of his final 18 ahead of eight-consecutive pars that took him to the front nine.
Johnson charted three bogies between the second through fifth holes, birdying the par-4 fourth to sit at 3-over par with three holes remaining. He finished the round strong, carding an eagle on the par-5 seventh and a birdie on the 54th hole of the tournament to shoot even-par. Johnson posted his 54-hole career-low tournament score of 212 for a second-straight tournament.
Junior Dylan MacQueen advanced four spots in the final standings with a final-round score of 1-over par, 72, to finish amidst a four-way tie for 25th overall at 214 -- just one stroke shy of his 54-hole career-best. Three birdies against a pair of bogies on the back nine left the Woodstock, Ontario, native turning to the final nine holes at 1-under. Back-to-back bogies on the first and second relegated MacQueen to 1-over where he shot par over the final seven holes. MacQueen finished tied for eighth in par-4 scoring at 1-under (3.96)
WCU's big mover of the day, though, was junior Jackson Bishop who jumped 22-spots by carding a 2-under par final round, 69, to finish with a two-day total of 217. Bishop birdied three holes against one bogey on Saturday, shooting par on 14 holes for the 2-under round.
Rounding out WCU's scoring five were sophomore Lawson King, who advanced three spots into a three-way tie for 74th overall at 229 (71-81-77) and junior Bright Julamool in a three-way tie for 77th overall at 230 (76-75-79).
WCU was the only team in the 16-team field to record two eagles as Johnson and Julamool bookended the three-round event.
Tournament host, 42nd-ranked North Carolina State, claimed the team championship by 13 strokes over No. 15 Clemson. The Wolfpack pulled away on Saturday, shooting 278 collectively as a team to finish at 821 while the runner-up Tigers carded a 54-hole team score of 834. No. 19 Duke advanced three spots into third at the conclusion of play at 849, a stroke ahead of fourth-place South Florida (850) and Maryland (851) rounding out the top five.
N.C. State took two-thirds of the podium finishes as Nolan Mills jumped two spots to claim individual medalist honors with a final round 67 to shoot 200 (66-67-67), finishing four strokes ahead of runner-up, his teammate Jacob McBride (68-65-71 = 204). Clemson's Carson Young came home third, six strokes off the winning pace at 206 (69-67-70).
Western Carolina now turns its attention to the 2017 Southern Conference Men's Golf Championships scheduled for April 23-25 at the Pinehurst No. 9 in Pinehurst, N.C.