Darton sophomore Madison Turner watches his tee shot on No. 18 in Tuesday’s third round of the District IV Preview. Turner finished 2-under for the tournament and tied for seventh individually. (Staff photo: John Millikan)
ALBANY — No miracle comeback came Tuesday for the Darton golf team, which began the final round of the District IV Preview 16 shots behind leader Eastern Florida State.
Instead, the Cavs held off a charging Wallace State team and settled for second place at Stonebridge Golf and Country Club, finishing 16 shots behind Eastern Florida State and just five strokes in front of Wallace State.
“We barely hung on to second,” said DaleDover, whose Cavs had an 8-shot edge on Wallace State after Monday’s opening two rounds. “Tae (Kim) shot a good round, and so did Madison (Turner). I am proud of those two guys for holding us in there. … Second is better than third, but it’s not a win.”
Kim and Turner both shot 3-under 69s to help the Cavs shoot 289 as a team in Tuesday’s third and final round. Kim finished the tournament at 3-under and tied for fifth individually, while Turner came in at 2-under and tied for seventh.
“The two of them really stepped up, and I felt like the other three sort of slipped a little bit,” Dover said. “I felt like if we would have gotten somewhere around even par from the other guys, we would have had a pretty good round (Tuesday). We need those other scores.”
Tuesday’s scores from Kim and Turner were the only rounds that broke 70 all tournament from Darton’s A team, which is ranked seventh in the country. Other third-round Darton scores were Jake O’Bryan 75, Rafael Miranda 76 and Taylor Martin 76.
“I played a decent round,” said Kim, a sophomore from South Korea who birded two of his final four holes. “It was a good finish. But we should have won this tournament. It was our course. We had our chances, but (other Darton golfers) just had a bad day (Tuesday).”
Darton would have needed four incredible rounds to catch Eastern Florida State after the Titans shot a 272 in Monday’s second round and pulled away from the field, thanks in part to Drew Cooke’s 9-under 63, which tied the course tournament record.
“They came out hot in the second round (Monday),” Turner said about Eastern Florida State, which is ranked 14th in the nation. “We just didn’t go low enough to hang in there with them. Any team, any day can have a heck of a run, and having a day like they did (Monday) really changed the tournament.”
Cooke was the individual medalist with a three-round score of 211 (5-under), followed by Wallace State’s Aksel Olsen (4-under), Eastern Florida’s Arthur Leonard (4-under), Wake Tech’s Jake Britt (4-under) and Eastern Florida’s Brad Grey (3-under).
Darton’s golfers finishing outside of the Top 10 were Jake O’Bryan (T-11th, 1-over), Rafael Miranda (T-17th, 5-over), Joshua Glossop (T-21st, 6-over), Taylor Martin (T-21st, 6-over), Elliot Hunter (T-25th, 7-over), reigning Herald Player of the Year and former Seminole County star Tyler Shamblin (T-32nd, 8-over) and Seth Sanders (T-37th, 17-over).
Andrew College was led by Timothy Blomdahl, who shot an even-par 72 on Tuesday and finished 2-under for the tournament and tied for seventh.
Behind Eastern Florida, Darton and Wallace State, the team scores were Meridian (10-over), Andrew (27-over), USC Lancaster (41-over), ABAC (45-over), Cape Fear (52-over) and Wake Tech (55-over).