Blondell Finishes Third, Leads Eagle Comeback for Top-Five Finish
For the first time in its 18-year participation in the tournament, No. 2 ranked Alabama took home the Schenkel E-Z-GO team title to claim a school record fifth team championship on the season. The Crimson Tide battled it out with No. 12 Florida and No. 20 South Carolina in the final 18 to secure the victory and lead runner-up Florida by seven strokes, finishing the three-day tournament shooting a 15-under 849.
South Carolina’s George Bryan IV broke Saturday’s six-way tie for first place to claim individual medalist honors finishing at 8-under 208. He led runner-up Michael Thompson of Alabama by one stroke.
Pacing the Eagles with a third-place finish was Blondell (Lakeland, Fla.) who shot a day low 4-under 68 that included four birdies on his last eight holes. His 68 matched a season low set earlier this season. Blondell moved up the standings nine spots from Saturday’s 12th-place finish to conclude the tournament shooting a 6-under 210, which is GSU’s best individual finish since Jon David Kennedy tied for first place in 2005. It is also the best individual score since Eagle great and 1989 Schenkel E-Z-GO medalist Richie Bryant shot an 8-under 208.
“For Logan, to get his second top-three finish, that’s a big step for him, which means he can play with some of the best players in the country,” said head coach Larry Mays.
Equally as impressive was the team comeback the Eagles made after making the jump from Friday’s 14th place finish.
“It was a great performance today,” said Mays, who's team finished the tournament 6-over 870 tying for fifth place with No. 29 UAB. “It was a team effort. It proves that we can play with the big schools. Overall, it was a great comeback for the team, to come back from 14th, to 11th, to fifth, that’s a great performance.”
Junior Ryan LeFevre (Boca Raton, Fla.) shot a season-low 3-under 69 on the day, and tied a season-low 2-over 218 to finish tied for 25th place.
Junior Drew Lethem (Camdenton, Mo.) wasn’t far behind with a 2-under 70 on the day and a tie for 33rd place at 4-over 220.
Junior Ryan Zabroske (Alpharetta, Ga.) shot a 2-over 74 in his final round to finish tied for 60th place at 9-over 225, while junior Jordan Johnstun (Evans, Ga.) shot a 75 on the day to round out the team scoring and finish tied for 65th place at 10-over 226.
The top-five finish is Georgia Southern’s third on the season with one more tournament remaining before the Southern Conference championship at the end of April.
“It’s a good confidence booster for the remainder of the year, especially leading into the Southern Conference championship,” added Mays. “Hopefully it will give us the confidence to compete for a conference championship.”
Competing individually for the Eagles was freshman Joe Monte (Chantilly, Va.) who finished tied for 13th place after shooting a season-low even-par 216.
Also competing individually was sophomore Spencer Fulford (Rocky Mount, N.C.) who finished tied for 28th carding a career-low 3-over 219.
Sophomore Matt Deal (Statesboro, Ga.) competed individually shooting a 17-over 233 and finished tied for 83rd place.
Georgia Southern finished the tournament with victories over (Golfweek ranking): LSU (48), Kentucky, North Florida (46), North Carolina (23), Augusta State (44), Auburn (11), Notre Dame, Michigan State (15), Minnesota, North Carolina State (38), New Mexico and Boston College.
Next up for the Eagles is the Augusta State Invitational at Champion’s Retreat, Apr. 4-6 in Evans, Ga.
- Category: Golf
- Published on Sunday, 16 March 2008 00:20