Sear, WVU Win at The Health Plan Invitational
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (Oct. 9, 2018) – Senior Max Sear and the West Virginia University golf team emerged victorious at The Health Plan Mountaineer Invitational, claiming the medalist honors and the team title, respectively, on Tuesday afternoon at Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport, West Virginia.
Marking the first Mountaineer medalist in more than 30 years, Sear finished with a three-round score of 210 for six-under-par. After carding 69-72 in the first two rounds, he used four birdies, including three on the back nine, to record a 69 in the third round. He finished one stroke ahead of Matt Naumec of Boston College, who shot five under for a 211.
Sear previously tied for first place at the 2017 East Carolina Intercollegiate but fell in a playoff hole.
West Virginia shot 289-29-281=866 to finish two over as a team. This marks the first team title of the 2018-19 season, and the first time the Mountaineers have won their home event.
“Max was our first high school recruit, so it was good to see him win. He’s been close a lot and had some great summers. It was good to see him finish on top,” coach Sean Covich. “We set up the course really hard and felt like it would better prepare us for Big 12 action. It’s good to see the team dominate on a course that played this difficult. Hopefully, they proved to themselves they can play long, challenging courses because that’s what we’ll see the rest of the year.”
Davidson finished as the team runner-up with a score of 877 for 13-over-par, while Eastern Kentucky was third at 25 over with an 889.
Two more Mountaineers finished in the top 10, as junior Etienne Papineau tied for fourth and sophomore Matthew Sharpstene tied for sixth. Papineau birded the eighth hole and added four more on the back nine, shooting four under with a 68 in the final round. He finished at 72-75-68=215 and one-under-par. Sharpstene used a pair of birdies to finish even par with a 72 in the third round, shooting 72-73-72=217 for one over in the tournament.
Junior Philipp Matlari and sophomore Logan Perkins tied for 16th place at nine over, each shooting a 225. Matlari shot 76-76-73 after carding a score of one-over-par in the final round. Perkins, who played as an individual, finished with 75-75-75.
Freshman Kurtis Grant bounced back to finish even par in the third round. He shot 80-77-72=229 across 54 holes to tie for 35th place at 13 over.
Playing as an individual, sophomore Mark Goetz’s scorecard showed 81-76-76=233 after three rounds. He finished 17 over and in 46th place. Senior Tristan Nicholls tied for 54th at 20 over with a 54-hole total of 81-79-76=236.
The win moves WVU to 17-7 against all opponents on the season. The Mountaineers will take their winning record into the Big 12 Match Play Championship, which will be held from Oct. 12-14, at The Club at Houston Oaks in Houston, Texas.
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