GULFPORT, Miss. — Darton freshman Jake O’Bryan aced No. 17 at Windance Country Club on Tuesday to help the Cavs hold off host Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and finish third in the MGCCC Fall Invitational.
Darton, which shot a 299 in Monday’s first round, fired a 298 on Tuesday to finish 21-over as a team and two shots in front of MGCCC. Faulkner State (6-over) easily won the 17-team tournament, while Rend Lake Community College was second at 18-over.
The Cavs, who are ranked 10th in the latest NJCAA national poll, began the final round 14 shots off the lead and were unable to make up any ground on a course that Darton coach Dale Dover called extremely challenging.
“It’s a thinking man’s golf course,” he said. “You have to be patient. I figured that we only needed to hit driver at the maximum three times. The rest of the time we should have been hitting an iron-hybrid or three wood (off the tee).
“The greens were real tough. The course is tight, and the greens have a lot of slope on them. If you get on the wrong side of the hole you have no chance. Unless you get it right up to the hole and fairly close, you are having to putt defensively all the time.”
O’Bryan, a native of Athens, didn’t have to worry about grabbing the putter out of the bag on the 160-yard 17th hole, which he aced to help him salvage a 3-over 75 and keep Darton in the Top 3.
Darton’s Joshua Glossop shot rounds of 72 and 75 to finish tied for eighth individually and was followed by Cav teammates Madison Turner (76-72, 4-over), O’Bryan (75-75, 6-over), Taehyung Kim (76-76, 8-over) and Hunter Elliott (78-79, 13-over).
“I am disappointed that we didn’t win,” Dover said. “But we shot pretty consistent. I told the guys before the start of the tournament that 290 would be a good score. Had they even shot 295 that first round they would have put a little pressure on Faulkner.”
Andrew College finished sixth in the tournament with rounds of 304 and 302 for a total of 30-over.
Timothy Blomdahl led Andrew with rounds of 76 and 73 to finish 5-over and was followed by teammates Andreas Tancred (77-73, 6-over), Patrik Merkell (77-78, 11-over), Jonathan Rodriguez (80-78, 14-over) and Alex Thompson (74-85, 15-over).