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J.T. Poston Finishes Tied for 10th to Lead WCU at SoCon Championships

Sophomore J.T. Poston picked up All-Southern Conference honors after leading WCU with a 10th-place finish at the 2013 SoCon Men's Golf Championship.

April 23, 2013

2013 Southern Conference Championship - Final Results Get Acrobat Reader

Daniel Island, S.C. - Western Carolina sophomore J.T. Poston was one of three golfers to card a final-day two-under par, 70, rallying 15 positions in the final standings on Tuesday to place in a two-way tie for 10th place to lead the Catamounts at the 2013 Southern Conference Men's Golf Championship.

WCU matched its second round score of 304, finishing with a three-day score of 932 to slip into 10th in the final standings at the par-72, 7,446 Ralston Creek Course at the Daniel Island Club.

Opening his final round on the back nine, Poston moved to two-under par in the first five holes with a pair of birdies. However, bogies on two of his final four on the back left him making the turn at even-par. The Hickory, N.C., native scored par on the first four holes of the front nine before birdies on the par-4 fifth and par-4 seventh left him at two-under for his round.

Poston finished with a team-high 34 pars and seven birdies in the conference championship event.

Senior Steven Smith fired a final round seven-over par 79 on Tuesday to slip into a four-way tie for 36th in the final standings. Smith shot 234 over the 54-hole event. Four-consecutive bogies on the first four holes on the back nine with a double and another bogey left him seven-over par through seven holes on Tuesday. However, the Kirknewton, Scotland, native rallied to shoot even-par over the final 10 holes of his round, countering three bogies with a trio of birdies including his final hole on the par-3 ninth.

Collin Witiak advanced seven spots in the final individual standings, carding his best round of the tournament with a one-over par 73 on Tuesday for a 235 tournament score. The redshirt sophomore off-set four bogies with three birdies including two among his final four holes leaving him one-under on the front nine.

Rounding out WCU's scoring five were juniors Jack Walsh and Greg Bunner, tied for 45th and 54th overall, respectively. Walsh shot 82 on Tuesday for a three-round 239 while Bunner shot 88 on the final day for a 255 at the event.

Chattanooga held off a late Davidson charge Tuesday to win its second-straight SoCon Men's Golf Championship, edging the Wildcats by two strokes. College of Charleston freshman Josh Lorenzetti shot a 2-under 70 to claim medalist honors as both the team and individual titles came down to the last hole.

With the win, Chattanooga earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA regionals, while Lorenzetti earned an individual bid. The Mocs' title was their fifth in seven seasons.

Chattanooga led Davidson by eight strokes through 12 holes of the final round, but Davidson, playing with the Mocs and College of Charleston, would make a charge to get within two strokes heading to the 18th tee.

In the penultimate group, Chattanooga's Davis Bunn bogeyed the par-5 18th, while Davidson's Richard Fountain birdied it for a two-stroke swing to get the Wildcats within two shots. In the final group, UTC's Steven Fox and the Wildcats' Todd Eckstein both bogeyed the hole, clinching the title for the Mocs.

Lorenzetti, playing in the final grouping with Fox and Eckstein, took a one-stroke lead into the final hole. The rookie from Columbia, S.C., made par on the 18th to lock up his individual title. The three were tied for the lead heading into the 17th, where Lorenzetti birdied the par-4 hole to pull ahead.

Lorenzetti was the only player in the field to finish under par for the tournament, as he wrapped up with a three-day total of 1-under 215. After opening with a 4-over 76, he shot a 3-under 69 Monday before closing with a 2-under round.

Chattanooga and Davidson are followed by College of Charleston in third place at 309-291-298=898. Appalachian State finished fourth at 305-298-303=906, followed by Georgia Southern (315-293-301=909) and UNCG (315-298-296=909) tying for fifth. Samford (314-298-302=914) and Elon (312-295-307=914) tied for seventh, with Furman (320-309-292=921), WCU (324-304-304=932) and Wofford (332-305-300=937) rounding out the field.

Following tournament play, Poston was named to the 2013 All-Southern Conference team for his play during the season and post-season tournament. Poston, who garnered all-freshman honors a season ago, entered this year's conference championship ranked second in the league in scoring average. Including his showing at the SoCon tourney, Poston averaged 72.19 strokes per round this year - the third-best, single-season stroke average in school history behind Matt Cook's 2006-07 (71.81) and 2007-08 (72.00) scoring marks.

Poston turned in seven top 10 individual finishes during the 2012-13 season including career-best showings in three-consecutive weeks in the fall, culminating with a best finish of second at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate.

The conclusion of the SoCon tournament also signals the end of the three Catamount men's golf careers. Steven Smith played his final round as a transfer to WCU on Tuesday with both redshirt senior Kyle Wilson and Trey White concluding their final season for the Purple & Gold earlier this year.

In two seasons, Smith averaged a stroke average of 75.38 including a career-best 74.75 this season. He recorded an 11th-place individual finish at the Donald Ross Intercollegiate for his career-best finish, also carding his career-low round of 69 at that tournament earlier this season. He finishes his career ranked ninth in program history in career stroke average.

Wilson, who left WCU for a year but returned this season for his final year of eligibility, averaged 75.19 strokes per round in 2012-13. The Mount Airy, N.C., product tallied two top 10 finishes in his four-year career including a 10th-place showing earlier this season at the Saint Mary's Invitational in California and a career-best sixth-place tie in the Spring Hill Suites Intercollegiate in 2009-10 as a sophomore. Wilson will end his WCU career ranked eighth in school history in scoring average at 75.26.

White played in 66 career rounds as a Catamount, averaging a career-low 76.59 stroke average twice as both a freshman and junior. He tallied a career-best finish in an 11th-place tie in the 2011 SoCon Men's Golf Championship. He concludes his career ranked inside the top 30 all-time on WCU's scoring charts.

All-Southern Conference team:
Casey Komline, Appalachian State
Alex Ellis, College of Charleston
Sam Echikson, Davidson
Richard Fountain, Davidson
Scott Wolfes, Georgia Southern
Drew Aimone, Samford
Casey O'Toole, Samford
Steven Fox, Chattanooga
Chris Robb, Chattanooga
J.T. Poston, Western Carolina

All-Freshman team:
Caleb Keck, Appalachian State
Lee Mitchell, Appalachian State
Josh Lorenzetti, College of Charleston
Taylor Coalson, UNCG
Luke Haithcock, UNCG

Player of the Year:
Scott Wolfes, Georgia Southern

Freshman of the Year:
Josh Lorenzetti, College of Charleston
Taylor Coalson, UNCG

Coach of the Year:
Bill Morningstar, Elon