The men’s golf team returned from Kiawah Island, South Carolina after closing out its fall season with the East Bay Deli Classic golf tournament hosted by Charleston Southern. The tournament was played at the 7,061-yard, par 72, Turtle Point Golf Club course that just reopened after undergoing a major renovation and redesign under the direction of world-class golfer, Jack Nicklaus
The five-man team of junior G.K. Morrison, sophomore Garrett Glanton, senior Ryan Beatty, freshman Bryce Dooley, and freshman Bill Ramage finished 18th overall in the 22-team field with a collective score of 913, a mere stroke behind Gardner-Webb who finished 17th with a score of 912. The Wildcats shot a round of 306 to start out, an improved to 298 for the second round, and posted a final round of 311 to close out the three round tournament.
Tennessee shot a three round score of 3-over-par 867 to claim the tournament title, followed by Augusta in second with a score of a 7-over-par 871, and the College of Charleston at third with a final of 13-over-par 877. Both Augusta and the College of Charleston were among the 10 teams at the Classic who were ranked in Golfstat’s top 100 as 57th and 40th respectably. Other ranked schools participating in the tournament included Maryland, Lipscomb, Troy, Campbell, Jacksonville State, Gardner-Webb and Coastal Carolina.
Freshman Bryce Dooley said that both the depth of competition and the challenging course proved to challenge the Wildcats and push them out of their comfort zone in tournament play. Being used to more open courses, traveling to Turtle Point where you encounter a lot of water hazards on either sides of the hole was tough and brought a level of challenge that required smart golf and strategy before every shot.
“I’ve always loved the atmosphere at places where we get to compete at a high level,” Dooley said. “There’s just something extra you feel going into a tournament where you know there’s going to be a real solid field.”
Dooley and Glanton finished the tournament tied for 53rd overall with 13-over-par 229. Ryan Beatty was the Wildcat’s top finisher, ending the tournament tied for 25th with a strong final score of 6-over-par 222. Morrison finished tied for 86th with a score of 19-over-par 235, while Ramage finished 114th with 41-over-par 257.
Dooley said that this fall has been a great growing period for the team as a unit, and that the chemistry of the group helps them encourage one another on and off the course and represent what ACU is all about.
“We want to glorify God in all things we do and being out on the golf course doing that is very humbling,” said Dooley. “Now that the fall season is over, we’ll take what we learned, get some rest and come January we’ll hit the ground running for the Spring.”
The Wildcats will be back in action in mid-february with the beginning of their spring competitive season at the James Litz Memorial tournament in San Antonio.