KIAWAH ISLAND — Newberry climbed one spot over the final round at the Newberry College Invitational at the famed Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, finishing third in a field of 19 teams filled with some of the nation’s best talent.
The ninth-ranked Wolves fired an 11-over 299 in Tuesday’s final round to finish at 23 over for the tournament. Ben Thompson provided the Wolves’ lowest score on the day with a one-under 71, his lowest score of the tournament by four strokes, to finish in a tie for 21st at seven over.
Newberry was paced by the tandem of Carlos Leandro and Spencer Skiff in sixth and eighth place, respectively. Leandro’s 73 on Tuesday placed him one over for the tournament, one shot ahead of Skiff in the final standings. Leandro was third among all competitors with 13 birdies over his 54 holes, while Skiff’s steady performance saw him rack up 41 pars to finish second in the tournament.
Thompson tied for the tournament lead at four under on par-five holes for the tournament, one stroke up on Leandro and Skiff.
“I want to commend our two seniors for leading us this week,” said Head Coach Howard Vroon. “Senior leadership is a valuable commodity and we’re fortunate to have two great players and great leaders on our team.”
Harry Bolton tied for 42nd at 13 strokes over par, while Riley Spear finished in 78th at 23 over. Corey Chrzanowski, competing as an individual, landed in a tie for 69th 20 strokes over par.
Twelfth-ranked Columbus State won the event with a team score of 857, seven strokes under par. The Cougars had the event’s top two finishers in Gideon van der Vyver (-7) and Jordan Doull (-6). Georgia Southwestern’s Vincent Norrman won a scorecard tiebreaker for third place over USC Aiken’s Axel Ostensson after the pair finished tied at four under.
The Cougars finished eight shots up on No. 24 USC Aiken. Newberry was 23 over, seven strokes ahead of No. 25 Barton and eight ahead of both Southeastern Oklahoma State and Georgia Southwestern. Seven of the nation’s top 31 teams were included in the tournament field.
“This was a disappointing start to our spring season,” said Vroon. “We thought we were prepared for this event and we were not; that is primarily my responsibility, but that disappointment was mollified by the fantastic experience we had at The Ocean Course again this year. I think it’s safe to say this has become the best Division II event in the country. We’re going to go home, get some rest, and try to be better prepared before we play again at the Bash at the Beach.”