Oct. 13, 2009
Lance Ringler of Golf Week Blogs about Ricky Stout
Akron, Ohio -
Western Carolina senior Ricky Stout led from start to finish claiming his first-ever collegiate individual medalist honors, winning the Firestone Invitational on Tuesday at the par-72, 7,125-yard Firestone Country Club North Course. Stout and the 68-golfer field battled blustery conditions over the final 18 holes including temperatures in the mid-40s and a strong, 20 mile per hour wind.
Stout's previous career-best finish came at last season's Southern Conference Championship when he finished tied for fifth with a three-under 213. His two-day, three-round score of 211 is tied for the 14th-best in WCU history.
Stout edged runner-up, Marty Jeppesen of Eastern Michigan, by a stroke, 211-to-212, and held a three-stroke advantage over the third-place finisher, Robert McRae of St. Mary's-California (214).
Led by McRae, St. Mary's - California won the overall team title by a stroke over Eastern Michigan, 869-to-870. Michigan State (888), which was third at the end of each of the first two rounds, held onto its second runner-up position in third, followed by Kansas State (889) and Kentucky (890) rounding out the top five teams.
Stout was the bright spot for the Catamount men which finished 11th in the 11-team field with a 54-hole score of 918. It was the first time since the Mizuno Intercollegiate just over a year ago (Oct. 6-7) that WCU had not shot under 900 collectively as a team in tournament play, a span of nine tournaments.
The New Bern, N.C., native finished as one of four golfers in the field to post a pair of Eagles, while carding 37 pars, tied for third-best. He finished seven-under on the par-5 holes and was even on the shortest, par-3 layouts.
Senior Tanner Briele finished tied for 42nd for the Catamounts, shooting 81 on Tuesday for a three-round score of 229. Classmate Drew Miller placed in a tie for 60th at 238, firing his tournament-low round of 75 on the final 18 holes. Rounding out WCU's scorers were sophomore Kyle Wilson in 65th (244) and freshman Jonathan Davies one-stroke in arrears in 66th (245).
Playing as an individual, Rylan Lanham
posted a 54-hole score of 228 to finish tied for 38th.
Western Carolina returns to action on October 25-27 at the Aldila Intercollegiate, hosted by SoCon foe, Chattanooga, at the Council Fire Golf Club. The Catamounts finished tied for eighth in the same event a season ago, shooting the eighth-lowest team tournament score in school history at 865. Stout posted a then career-best finish of eighth on the course with a career-low, three-round score of 205.