Lethem Wins Individual Honors, Eagles Finish Second in SoCon Championship
“He’s done an incredible job with us this year,” said senior Drew Lethem on Coach Mays’ second Coach of the Year accolade. “We’re very proud of him and we’re lucky to have him as our coach.”
Georgia Southern took a two stroke lead heading into the final three holes but Chattanooga regained the lead off in the last holes to secure a two-stroke championship victory at the par 72, 7,062-yard Country Club of South Carolina. Senior Drew Lethem captured the individualist honors firing a 6-under par 210 for the tournament, marking a low 54 holes in his collegiate career. The Camdenton, Missouri native followed a tournament-low opening round 66 with consecutive even par 72s in the final two rounds to claim his first career collegiate title. With the individual win, Lethem earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Regional.
“Overall we played well,” said Lethem. “We have nothing to hang our heads about. We didn’t hand it to them. For me, I had a good first round got on a hot streak and rode that. I played solid for the tournament.”
Georgia Southern entered the final round four strokes out of first place Chattanooga and would rally to take the lead. Four of five Eagles turned the front nine at 1-under, putting the Eagles five back of the Mocs starting the back nine who turned at 5-under. The Eagles took a one shot lead when Ryan LeFevre birdied hole 18.
The 18th hole became a deciding factor as the final three Mocs all posted par 4s to the final three Eagles’ three bogeys. Chattanooga shot even par on the final three holes to Georgia Southern’s 2-over to secure its third consecutive SoCon team title.
“I’m proud of the boys. Anytime you shoot 10-under on a good golf course, it’s a good outing,” said Coach Mays. “We got beat by a good team that played well. Obviously, it has a little sting to it. We came up here to win a championship and came up a couple shots short. We will use this to motivate us the next couple of weeks to get ready for Regionals. Hopefully we will go to Regionals and put up a good showing - our ultimate goal is to play in the national championship this year.”
In the final round of competition, Blondell, LeFevre and Spencer Fulford each posted sub-par rounds. After finishing round one in 10th place, Blondell (Lakeland, Fla.) jumped to fourth in the final two rounds. The Eagle fired three sub-par rounds to post a 4-under 212 tournament finish.
Jumping one spot to finish tied for 13th, junior Fulford (Rocky Mount, N.C.) shaved off five strokes from his second round 76 for a final round 1-under 71. Fulford eagled the second hole to jump start the day. The Eagle concluded the day with four birdies, three bogeys and one double-bogey for a three-day total of 217 (+1), making Fulford the third Eagle to finish in the top 15.
Tying with teammate Fulford for 13th was senior LeFevre, a Boca Raton, Fla. native. LeFevre carded his lowest round of the tournament on Tuesday, posting a 4-under par 70. The Eagle fired off three birdies to eliminate an opening bogey on one.
Rounding out the lineup for Georgia Southern was sophomore Joe Monte, who recorded an identical final round to his second with a 77. Combined with his opening round 71, Monte finished the tournament at 225 in a tie for 26th.
“I’m real proud of Drew for getting his first individual win. We’ve been waiting for him to break out and win one,” stated Mays. “All the boys played solid in the tournament. It was a lot of fun, probably one of the more fun days I’ve had in a long time.”
- Category: Golf
- Published on Tuesday, 21 April 2009 17:28