FLORENCE, S.C. — Trailing by five shots at the turn in the final round, Georgia Southern played the final nine holes at five-under par to surpass Chattanooga and win the 2011 Southern Conference Men’s Golf Championship at the Country Club of South Carolina.
Davidson freshman Richard Fountain became the Wildcats’ first SoCon Tournament individual medalist since 1973 as he fired a final round, five-under par 67. The freshman, who claimed his second tournament title of the season, birdied his final hole of the event, the 435-yard par four ninth. With his victory, Fountain earns an automatic qualification to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship.
The Eagles’ five golfers combined for 10 birdies on the final nine holes Tuesday, including four from tournament runner-up Lewis Gruber. His three-day total of 208 (-8) paced the Eagles. Senior Logan Blondell also played a key role in GSU’s victory, placing third individually at four-under par (212).
Like Fountain, Georgia Southern also earns the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships by virtue of its win.
UNCG posted the second-best round of the day, and of the tournament, at 285 (-3) to finish in second place after beginning the day in fourth. Will Almand led the Spartans’ charge by shooting 70 (-2) in a bogey-free round while tying for fourth for the event. His 214 (-2) total was matched by Chattanooga’s Steven Fox, who darted out with six birdies on the front nine before finishing the day with a four-under 68.
Chattanooga (867) placed third, six strokes off the pace, followed by Samford (875), College of Charleston (876) and Wofford (882).
Elon (886) finished seventh, one stroke ahead of Davidson (887) in eighth. Rounding out the leaderboard was Western Carolina (895), Appalachian State (897) and Furman (900).
Also placing in the top ten individually were College of Charleston’s Coy Breen (-1), Elon’s Steve Dressel (-1), UNCG’s Kyle Sonday (E), Chattanooga’s Stephan Jaeger (E) and Samford’s Casey O’Toole (E).
Jaegar was voted as the SoCon Player of the Year by the league’s head coaches while Wofford’s Chandler Brazeal took home Freshman of the Year honors. Samford coach Woodie Eubanks was honored by his peers as the league’s Coach of the Year.