ANDERSON — Newberry fired a final-round 294 to finish in second place overall and place three individuals in the top 10 at the 2018 South Atlantic Conference Men’s Golf Championship.
The Wolves, ranked fourth in the latest Bushnell Golfweek Division II Coaches Poll and eighth in the Golfstat relative rankings, sat in sixth place after the first round, but surged into the runner-up position with a 290 on Tuesday. The Wolves put distance between themselves and third-place Wingate, but were unable to close the gap on 20th-ranked Carson-Newman, which shot a tournament-best one-under 287 in the final round to win its second consecutive conference tournament title.
Ben Thompson led the Wolves with a one-under 71, his best round of the tournament, to move from a tie for 12th into sole possession of seventh place for his second top-10 finish in a row and third of the season. The nation’s 80th-ranked player had two birdies without a bogey on the back nine to close the tournament with a bang one year after finishing in a tie for second place in the conference championship tournament. He was four strokes over par overall.
Newly-crowned SAC Golfer of the Year and 16th-ranked Carlos Leandro was even par on the day and for the tournament to finish in a tie for fifth place with Wingate’s Charles Joubert. Recovering from a double bogey on the par-four second, Leandro had three birdies between holes six and 10 and was a stroke under par on the back nine to card his fourth top-five and seventh top-10 in nine tournaments this season.
Spencer Skiff, currently ranked No. 12 by Golfstat, landed in a four-way tie for eighth at five over for the tournament. Skiff’s up-and-down round saw him card four birdies, but finish with a two-over 74. Harry Bolton finished tied for 45th at 21 over with Rob Cull a stroke behind in 48th.
Wingate, which finished five shots back of the Wolves in third, was the only other school to place multiple golfers in the top 10.
Carson-Newman’s Tom Forster won individual medalist honors with a four-under 68 on the day to finish at five under overall, edging Anderson’s Jake Miller by a single shot.
Carson-Newman earned the SAC’s automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Men’s Golf South/Southeast Regional. The Wolves were ranked second in the latest Southeast Region rankings and are all, but assured an at-large selection to the 20-team field. This year’s event will take place at Rock Barn Country Club and Spa in Conover, North Carolina May 7-9, with the 2018 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships set for Muscle Shoals, Alabama May 21-25.