Hot Start Propels Wake Forest To Second At The Hootie
March 30, 2010
AWANDAW, SC - The Wake Forest men's golf team needed a hot start on Tuesday to get in the mix and that's exactly what it got, a 12-under par front nine. But 36-hole leader LSU was able to hold on down the stretch and nipped the Demon Deacons by one shot at The Hootie at Bulls Bay Collegiate.
Wake Forest fired the round of the day, an 8-under 276, thanks in large part to sophomore Lee Bedford, who made eight birdies on his way to a career-low 8-under 63. Bedford's 63 is tied for the second-lowest round in school-history behind Webb Simpson's 9-under 62 at the All-America Classic on Nov. 19, 2007.
After the hot start, Wake had taken a one-shot lead at the turn and all five players were under par. But a tough start to the back nine coupled with a good finish by LSU, allowed the Tigers to retake the lead in the end. LSU finished the day with a 5-under 879 and finished the tournament at 7-under par.
"We got off to a great start to today and put ourselves right there but you have to give credit to LSU for finishing they way they did," said Wake Forest Jerry Haas. "Overall though, the guys played great. I couldn't be more pleased with the progress we're making. I told someone a month ago that we're going to surprise people here at the end of the year."
Wake has played well as of late. Tuesday's round trumped Monday's 3-under 281 as the lowest of the season. The 54-hole total of 6-under 846 is also a season best. As a team on Tuesday, the Demon Deacons made a total of 23 birdies.
Bedford had eight of those birdies himself, including five in the final six holes. He opened the day with a 3-under 33 and was 4-under through 14 holes before birdying his last four holes. His 63 was the lowest round of the event and vaulted him from a tie for 18th to start the day to second. Befored finished the event 7-under par, just two shots behind medalist Matt Hill of NC State.
The 7-under par finish is the lowest of his career, besting his previous low of 4-under par which he shot at the 2008 VCU Shootout and the 2009 ACC Championship.
Senior Brendan Gielow came into the final round just three shots out of the lead. He could not have gotten off to a better start, making five birdies on the front nine to post a 5-under 31 which allowed him to take a one-shot lead at the turn. A double-bogey at the par-4 11th however dropped him out of the lead but he would still finish tied for third after a solid 2-under 69. Coupled with his season-best 66 on Monday, Gielow finished the event at 6-under par.
This was Gielow's fifth top-5 finish of the year and he has yet to finish outside of the top-14 in any of his eight events.
Senior Travis Wadkins finished-off his best tournament of the year with a 2-over 73 on Tuesday. He had opened with a season-best 2-under 69. For the week, Wadkins made a total of nine birdies and finished tied for 24th at 2-over par.
Freshman Evan Beck started the tournament out shaky, shooting a 5-over 41 on his opening nine. But he played his final 45-holes in even-par, including posting an even-par 72 on Tuesday. Beck finished the week tied for 37th at 5-over par.
Sophomore Daniel Meggs had a rough opening round of 82 but rebounded with a solid 73 on Monday and a 75 on Tuesday. He finished at 17-over par and tied for 68th.
This was perhaps the best field Wake has played in all season. Eleven of the 15 teams were ranked in the top-40 of the latest Golfweek/Sagarin ratings. The Deacs came in ranked No. 38 and will likely jump-up after this performance.
Wake will now enjoy the Easter weekend before heading back to action at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate, hosted by NC State on April 9-10. That event will serve as a final tune-up for the ACC Championships which are being held April 23-25 at Old North State in Uwharrie Point, NC.