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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC men's golf has strong weekend at Duke University Golf Club

The dreary and cool weather in Chapel Hill may have been ideal for staying inside and watching football for most students, but for the North Carolina men’s golf team, it meant that their weekend got a little bit more complicated.

The team travelled to a familiar course, Duke University Golf Club, for the Rod Myers Invitational Saturday and Sunday. The Tar Heels finished in second place with eight-under-par 568, behind East Carolina University, after leading through the first day of the tournament.

The Invitational was shortened to a 36-hole tournament because inclement weather prevented some of the 12 participating teams from finishing Saturday’s rounds.

Coach Andrew Sapp said one of the team’s goals for the weekend was to come out on top of Baylor, the second ranked team in the nation. Forcing Baylor into third place and accomplishing the goal, Sapp said senior Brandon Dalinka, who tied for sixth place, is partially to thank.

“He shot 69 today which helped tremendously or else Baylor might have caught us,” Sapp said. “He played fantastic which is exciting to see.” 

On Saturday, the team ended the afternoon 10-under-par with a three-shot lead. However, after competition started Sunday, ECU seized first place.

“Nothing really went my way today,” freshman Ben Griffin said. “It was just one of those days. It happens to all of us. It’s just about recovering from it and trying to learn from the experience.”

Though Griffin did say his eighth place performance wasn’t what he expected, he said the weather did make playing more difficult.

“It definitely played a factor today,” Griffin said. “The course was playing a lot longer because it was wet. The ball also wasn’t traveling as far because the air was so moist.”

Although holding an umbrella while getting through the rounds may have been tiring, Griffin said there were no excuses because everyone has to deal with it.

Three out of the participating five UNC players finished in the top ten in the tournament.

Along with Dalinka and Griffin was freshman William Register, who claimed the highest Carolina placement as he tied for fourth place.

“Our two freshmen are both studs,” Dalinka said. “They carry us week in and week out and we’re just trying to help out a little bit and pick up some slack. Their play rubs off on us and makes us play well.“

Dalinka also said he is proud of his individual performance and the team’s performance as well, but there’s always room for improvement.

“Overall, I think second was a good finish for us so we can build on it coming into our last tournament coming up in two weeks."

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