N. Florida goes wire-to-wire for title
Ospreys hold off late charge to win Atlantic Sun championship
BRASELTON, Ga. -- No. 14 North Florida outlasted a final-round charge from East Tennessee State on Wednesday to claim the 2012 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship at the Chateau Elan Legends Course.
The Ospreys, who led wire-to-wire in the event and finished with a three-day total of 875 (+11), saw a 10-shot lead trimmed to four on the final day, but overcame sluggish playing conditions to earn the program's second conference title. North Florida also won the league championship in 2008 at Chateau Elan.
The win also marked the team's fifth tournament title this season and kept the Ospreys streak of finishing in the top three at every Atlantic Sun Conference Championship.
Sean Dale and Kevin Aylwin finished tied for second in medalist play at 215 (-1) marking the second consecutive year an Osprey finished runner-up. Dale and Aylwin entered the final round ranked first and second on the leaderboard but Stetson's Sam Ryder rallied with a one-under performance on the final day to snatch the medalist title by two shots.
“I'm just really proud of this group and how they battled,” UNF head coach Scott Schroeder said. “Even though it wasn't our best round as a team overall, we overcame some adversity and were able to continue grinding and capture an A-Sun Championship. I thought Joey [Petronio] did a great job of bouncing back after two rough days of play and he helped carry us in the final round.”
Petronio fired an even par 72 marking UNF's best score of the day. His strong finish allowed him to earn a tie for 11th at 225. MJ Maguire collected his second top 10 showing of the season after finishing 10th at 224.
Kevin Phelan rounded out the Osprey lineup earning a tie for 22nd at 229.
UNF edged ETSU by four strokes as the Bucs finished at 879. Defending champion and tournament host Kennesaw State finished third at 894 followed by Florida Gulf Coast (896), Stetson (907), Mercer (914), USC-Upstate (918), Jacksonville (923), Lipscomb (925) and Belmont (933).