Memphis wins first C-USA title
Tigers lead wire-to-wire, earn first league crown since 1992
TEXARKANA, Ark. -- Memphis posted scores of 282-289-288 to win the Conference USA Championship and claim the first conference title for the program since the 1991-92 season.
"I'm just so proud of the guys for the way they battled all week," Memphis head coach Grant Robbins said. "They led wire-to-wire and kept it together when it got close at the end. I'm just really proud of them."
Jack Belote led the charge for the Tigers with a 7-under-par 54-hole total of 209 to finish in a tie for second individually. Belote had a one-stroke lead with three holes to play, but UCF's Greg Eason birdied Nos. 16 and 17 to post 208 (-8) and top Belote by one stroke.
Jonathan Fly, who won the individual title at last year's C-USA Championship, was a presence again this year for the Tigers. Fly carded scores of 69-73-72 to post a 2-under-par 54 hole total and tie for fifth individually.
Will Pearson turned in another solid round, this time posting a 1-over-par 73 to land in a tie for 13th position. Grant Milner also posted 73 (+1) and tied for 24th individually, while Steve Lee finished 45th with a three-round total of 231.
"Grant Milner really stepped up the last two days," Robbins said. "Will [Pearson] was clutch. He finished out each round with birdies. Everyone played great."
The Tigers led the championship wire-to-wire after coming out of the gate strong with a 282 (-6) in Sunday's opening round. Memphis followed that with a 289 (+1) Monday and an even-par 288 Tuesday to secure the title. UCF finished two strokes back in second with a 54-hole total of 861 (-3), but the Knights never really threatened until the last three holes and Eason's two late Birdies.
Memphis bested its previous high finish of second at the C-USA Championship, which was set last year when Fly won medalist honors en route to leading the Tigers to a runner-up finish. The last conference title prior to this season for the Tiger golf program came in 1991-92 when Memphis posted a 927 54-hole total to claim the Great Midwest Conference title.