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With top-10 finishes, Hitt and Gerard lead UNC men's golf at Old Town Collegiate

Doug Ergood

Men's golf first-year Doug Ergood follows through on a swing at Finley Golf Course on Sept. 5, 2018. Photo courtesy of the UNC Athletic Department.

The North Carolina men’s golf team, led by junior Austin Hitt and sophomore Ryan Gerard, finished fourth in the Old Town Club Collegiate hosted by Wake Forest through Tuesday.

What happened?

Louisville won the event with a combined 30-under-par over three rounds, with Wake Forest finishing second at 29-under-par. Rutgers came in third with a 13-under-par outing, and the Tar Heels finished close behind with a 12-under-par.

UNC opened with a five-under-par 275 as a team in its opening round, followed by a 277 in the second round. At the end of Monday, the team stood at eight-under-par, and while first place was far out of reach going into Tuesday, the Tar Heels shot a combined four-under-par in the final round to finish the tournament strong.

Who stood out? 

Hitt and Gerard shone for UNC with top-10 individual finishes. Hitt finished sixth with an eight-under-par, while Gerard, a Raleigh, N.C. native, finished tied for 10th with a five-under-par. 

For Hitt, the performance marked his second top-10 finish in three tournaments this season, following another sixth place outing at the Rod Myers Invitational in Durham earlier in September. 

After a bogey on the first hole of Tuesday’s final round, Hitt eagled the fourth hole and birdied holes eight and nine to finish the front nine at three-under. He made pars on the entirety of the back nine.

For context of his play, Louisville’s Matthias Schmid won the event with an 18-under-par, three strokes ahead of Wake Forest’s Eric Bae.

When was it decided?

Louisville came into Tuesday’s final round four shots behind Wake Forest, but shot an 11-under-par to edge out Wake Forest for first place.

For the Tar Heels, five of the six players in the field shot at or under par in the final round. Hitt led with a three-under-par 67, Gerard and freshman Ryan Burnett shot 69s, and Dougie Ergood and Joshua Martin shot 70s.

Why does it matter?

Early on this year, younger players on the UNC team are already proving to be worthy competitors — taking on large roles on the team. At the end of last season, the Tar Heels lost three impactful seniors. 

The team was also relatively consistent throughout all three rounds. This was surely a point of emphasis for head coach Andrew DiBitetto following some double bogies in the later rounds of last week’s Louisville Cardinal Classic. The fourth-place finish was an improvement over the Tar Heels’ sixth-place outing last week, but the team will look to get back to the level of play they exhibited at the Rod Myers Invitational, where they earned second place to Penn State.

When do they play next?

The men’s golf squad will be back in action in South Bend on Oct. 7 for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Classic.


@DTHSports |

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