Sept. 10, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Finishing his final round with a two-under par, 70, on Tuesday, Western Carolina's J.T. Poston claimed individual medalist honors in the season-opening Golfweek Program Challenge concluded Tuesday at the par-72, 6,940-yard True Blue Golf Club. As a team, the Catamounts finished in a three-way tie for fifth in the 12-team field.
The individual championship is the first in Poston's collegiate career. Last season, the Hickory, N.C., native recorded three-straight weeks of career-best showings, capped by a runner-up finish at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate in October, 2012.
Coupled with the women's team score of 897, Western Carolina finished fifth overall in the Program Challenge portion of the event with a combined score of 1,762. This year's finish was two spots better than the Catamounts' first trip a year ago where they finished seventh.
Campbell again claimed the overall championship, edging Jacksonville State by one stroke, 1,741-to-1,742. Campbell's women won the team title by 17 strokes with an 862 while the men were tied for ninth at 879. For Jacksonville State, their men's squad was tied for third at 863 while the women finished second at 879.
Opening on the back nine, Poston carded four birdies and four pars with one bogey to make the turn at three-under. A pair of bogies through the first five holes after the turn left him at one-under for the round before he finished the event with a birdie on the par-5 ninth hole to shoot a two-under, 70, on Tuesday and 205 for the event.
Poston, who matched his career-low 18 hole score of 66 in the first round of the season, finished with 33 pars and 16 birdies over the three-round event. His score of 205 matched the WCU program's all-time low 54-hole score established by Andres Cuenca at the Aldila Intercollegiate back in the Fall of 2008.
Redshirt junior Collin Witiak advanced three places in the final standings, finishing tied for 32nd with a 54-hole score of 222. The Columbia, S.C., product turned in his best round on Tuesday, shooting a one-over par, 73. Witiak birdied the opening hole of his final round before eight-straight pars left him turning at one-under. Back-to-back bogies on the first two holes of the front nine left him one-over before a birdie on the par-4 fourth pushed him to even par. He shot double-bogey on the par-4 eighth before closing his opening tournament with a birdie on No. 9.
Junior Matthew Turner rallied 17 positions in the final standings with a two-under par, 70, on Tuesday. A run of 12-straight pars was broken with consecutive birdies on the fourth and fifth holes for Turner, who then closed the round with four additional pars to post his career-low round.
Rounding out WCU's scorers were sophomore Tyler Lail and senior Greg Bunner, both tied for 39th overall with three day totals of 224. Bunner posted his best round of the event, countering four bogies with two birdies to shoot two-over par, 74. Lail struggled through his final 18 holes, carding three double bogies with one birdie to counter on the front nine, finishing the day eight-over, 80.
Akron took the men's team title by five strokes over second-place IUPUI, 856-to-861. The Zips put two players inside the top five including runner-up, J.B. Williams, four strokes off Poston's pace. Jacksonville State and Gardner-Webb finished tied for third at 863 with WCU tying Old Dominion and James Madison for fifth-place at 865.
Western Carolina returns to action in two weeks when it travels to the Cardinal Intercollegiate, hosted by the University of Louisville at the Cardinal Golf Course in Kentucky.