Nov. 1, 2011
Sapphire, N.C. - On the strength of a tournament record-low, single-round on Tuesday, Appalachian State rallied from a seventh-place tie after the opening 18 holes to win the 2011 Hummingbird Intercollegiate, hosted by Western Carolina at the par-71, 6,767-yard Country Club of Sapphire Valley.
First-round individual leader Kristopher Gray from Gardner-Webb followed-up his four-under 67 opening round with a three-under 68 on Tuesday to claim medalist honors. Gray paced the 93-golfer field with 25 par scores with nine birdies through his 36 holes. He started his final round at one-over through four holes, but finished the final 14 at four-under to win by two strokes.
Showing as high as fifth-place in the team standings down the stretch of the final round, WCU struggled to the finish, placing in a two-way tie for eighth with fellow Southern Conference foe, Samford. The Catamounts recorded rounds of 298 and 288 for a 36-holes core of 586.
ASU becomes the sixth-different team to capture tournament championship honors at the event all-time. The Mountaineers' final round, 11-under 273 was two-strokes lower than the previous tournament record of 275 carded by Vanderbilt in 2008. UAB, which stood second after the opening round, charged back to the top of the leader board before finishing in the runner-up spot, two-strokes in arrears of Appalachian, 565-to-567. First-round Gardner-Webb (573) slipped to third place with Vanderbilt (574) and Francis Marion (581) rounding out the top five teams.
Other notables included SoCon foe - and 2009 event champion - Furman in sixth-place with defending team champion, Jacksonville, in seventh. Two other SoCon squads in Wofford (592) and Elon (596) finished tied for 11th and 14th, respectively.
Behind Gray, UAB's Paul Dunn (137) advanced 10 spots into the runner-up position with a five-under, 66, to go along with his even-par 71 from Monday. ASU's Casey Komline (138) was the big mover, jumping from a tie for 23rd into third place with a tournament-low round of 65.
Catamount freshman J.T. Postonerased 10 strokes off his opening round 76 to card a career-low round of 66 on Tuesday, roaring from a tie for 57th on Monday to finish in a two-way tie for ninth-place at even-par, 142. Poston recorded four of his team-leading nine tournament birdies through his first nine holes in the final round before a bogey on the par-4 fourth moved him to three-under. The Hickory, N.C., native finished with two more birdies over his final five holes.
For Poston, the ninth-place finish is the third, top-10 of the first semester of his rookie season.
Sophomore Jack Walshcarded rounds of two-over 73 and one-over 72 to finish tied for 21st with a 36-hole score of 145. A native of Lawrenceville, Ga., Walsh made the turn at three-under par after a birdie on the par-4 18th. However, he couldn't maintain the momentum with four bogies on the front nine.
Junior Trey Whitelikewise had a bumpy final nine holes after making the turn from the back at two-over in the final round. Three-consecutive bogies on holes two-through-four dropped him to five-over for the round. He was able to rally with birdies on three of his final four holes of the event to shoot seven-over, 149, his best showing in two previous Hummingbird Intercollegiate tournaments.
Rounding out WCU's finishers were sophomore Greg Bunner in a tie for 50th at 150 (74-76) and freshman Charlie Kilzerin a tie for 85th at 157 (77-80). Bunner saw his two-under start through five holes erased by a double-bogey on the par-4 No. 15. After making the turn at one-over par, Bunner went bogey, double-bogey, bogey on holes five through seven to move to five-over which is where he finished on Tuesday.
Kilzer, on the other hand, had a roller coaster opening round with two double-bogies and two bogies countered by a trio of birdies to turn at three-over. However, two bogies and a pair of doubles on the front nine relegated him to nine-over, 80, in the final round.
Playing unattached as an individual, WCU freshman Matthew Turnertrimmed 11 strokes off his opening round, posting a final round, two-over 73, to finish tied for 85th overall, tied with his classmate Kilzer. Turner countered six bogies with four birdies, answering all but two of his one-over par scores with a birdie through his final round.
The Hummingbird Intercollegiate concludes the fall portion of Western Carolina's 2011-12 schedule. The Catamounts return to action in late February at the Wexford Plantation Intercollegiate, Feb. 20-21 in Hilton Head Island, S.C.