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GSW finishes second in golf tournament, Griffin takes co-medalist honors

J.P. Griffin shot a 3-over 147 to win his first golf tournament in his collegiate career.

J.P. Griffin shot a 3-over 147 to win his first golf tournament in his collegiate career.

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. — It was a feeling the Georgia Southwestern golfers weren’t used to as they rode back from Mississippi as a runner-up.

The Hurricanes, who won three of their five tournaments in the fall and are now ranked No. 1 in Division II, finished two shots behind McNeese State University in Monday’s Frito Lay/Taco Bell Intercollegiate tournament.

A year ago — when the Hurricanes were ranked outside of the Top 100 — second place wouldn’t have been too bad. Now the Hurricanes expect to win every time they step on a golf course, even when they face a dozen Division I schools like in the two-day Frito Lay/Taco Bell tournament.

“It was tough to come so close and not win,” GSW coach Andrew Danna said. “We put ourselves in contention again, which is all about being consistent. And that’s what our goal has to be in each tournament, to be consistent.”

While the GSW team came up just short, junior J.P. Griffin shot a two-day 147 to take co-medalist honors along with University of Tennessee at Martin’s Brendon Caballero. It was Griffin’s first collegiate victory.

“I played really well,” Griffin said. “I hit it well and tried to stay out of my way. The conditions were tough, and I tried to stay away from the big numbers.”

Griffin finished with four birdies — two in each round. He shot a two-over 74 Sunday and was tied for first place after the opening round. The Glennville native shot a 73 Monday to finish three-under for the tournament.

“I’m glad he got it done today,” said Danna, who added that assistant coach and former GSW golfer Reese Moseley was instrumental in helping Griffin on the closing holes. “(Griffin) has put himself in position so many times, and it makes me so proud to see him finally break through.”

The Hurricanes shot a 606 as a team, two shots behind McNeese State, which had a one-shot lead over the Hurricanes after the opening round.

Hurricane senior Craig Gibson fired a 150 (75-75) to finish in sixth place, while Leesburg native Nate Gahman (75-78) tied for 16th, Christopher Hall (79-77) tied for 21st and Christopher Campos tied for 68th (84-91).