While Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose put on a show this weekend at The Masters in Augusta, Ga., the North Carolina men’s golf team concluded regular season play in the Cabarrus County Irish Creek Intercollegiate in Kannapolis, N.C. After shooting even par as a team on Saturday, the unranked Tar Heels finished in fifth place with a 2-under team score of 850.
Junior Ben Griffin led the way Saturday with back-to-back 2-under scores of 69, finding himself in a tie for sixth place after the first day. First-year Austin Hitt, playing the Irish Creek course for the first time, struggled in the morning but rebounded with a 68 in the afternoon to finish the day 1-over. Senior Henry Do played consistent golf for the Tar Heels, putting together an even-par 71 in the morning and a 2-over 73 on Saturday afternoon. Junior William Register followed one stroke back of Do, with a 1-over score of 72 in the morning and a 2-over 73 in the afternoon. Senior Jose Montaño found himself near the bottom of the leaderboard after shooting a 7-over 78 after the first round, but he mitigated some of the damage by posting an even-par 71 in the afternoon.
The second day saw the Tar Heels inch their way up the leaderboard. Griffin, 4-under-par for the tournament, secured a top-10 finish by posting an even-par 71. Meanwhile, Hitt’s final round of 70 put him at even par for the tournament. Do finished 3-over after a final round of 72, Montaño’s final round of 69 put him at 5-over for the tournament and Register followed one stroke behind after a final round of 74. Ultimately, only Griffin finished under par for fifth-place UNC.
Who stood out?
North Carolina head coach Andrew Sapp was pleased with the continued strong play of Griffin. Going back to last weekend’s Aggie Invitational in Texas, Griffin has now posted four consecutive rounds under par or even par.
“I think (Griffin) is really peaking at the right time for us,” Sapp said.