The WVU golf team won the 2017 East Carolina Intercollegiate on Tuesday. This was the team’s first tournament victory since resuming varsity golf competition in 2015 — more than thirty years since WVU last had a golf team.
It is the revived team’s first win under coach Sean Covich. A four-stroke improvement in the final round pushed the Mountaineers from fourth to first place in the final round, as the squad totaled 300-299-296=895 in claiming top team honors. They finished 31 over par and four strokes ahead of host East Carolina (899) and Western Kentucky (899). Maryland claimed fourth place at 36 over par with a team score of 900.
Max Sear used a pair of birdies on the front nine and three more on the back nine to shoot one under in the final round, totaling 76-75-71=222 across 54 holes to finish six over par. He finished atop the individual leaderboard in a three-way tie with Tim Conover of East Carolina and Grant Renegar of Florida Gulf Coast, but fell to Renegar on the second hole of the playoff.
“The conditions were really tough out there today,” Covich said. “The greens were firm and fast, there were difficult hole locations and winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour. The guys took advantage on the front nine, then played hard on the back nine. I couldn’t be happier for them. They committed to us when we didn’t have a program, worked hard and have built a foundation for our team. The best feeling as a coach isn’t winning, but seeing your guys proud of their hard work.”
Sear was joined by three teammates in the top 15, as Alan Cooke and Chris Williams finished tied for eighth, while Tristan Nicholls tied for 14th place.
After shooting 78-71 in the first two rounds, Cooke carded a trio of birdies across the final 18 holes. He tallied a 54-hole total of 78-71-75=224, fishing at eight over par. Williams totaled 71-77-76=224 to also finish eight over par.
Nicholls used a pair of birdies on the front nine in shooting two over on the day. He carded a 54-hole total of 75-77-74=226 to end the tournament at 10 over.
Playing as an individual, Avery Schneider recorded a top-25 finish as well. He tallied three birdies in the final round to finish at 74-76-79=229. Schneider earned a share of 25th place at 13 over par.
Etienne Papineau tied for 30th place, shooting 14 over. He notched a pair of birdies in the final round to finish with a score of 78-76-76=230.
Also playing as an individual, Drew Dewald took 63rd place. His scorecard showed 78-80-85=243 after 54 holes, putting him 27 over par.
West Virginia will cap the regular season at rival Penn State on April 15-16. The Mountaineers travel to University Park, Pennsylvania, for the Rutherford Intercollegiate at the Penn State Blue Golf Course.
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