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Thursday December 2nd

North Carolina men's golf finishes sixth at Arizona State Thunderbird Collegiate

Junior Austin Hitt driving the ball during UNC's win at the second day of the Tar Heel Intercollegiate, hosted at Finley Golf Course on Sunday, March 24, 2019.
Buy Photos Junior Austin Hitt driving the ball during UNC's win at the second day of the Tar Heel Intercollegiate, hosted at Finley Golf Course on Sunday, March 24, 2019.

The North Carolina men’s golf team finished sixth in a 14-team field over the weekend, finishing with an even par in the Thunderbird Invitational.

What happened?

The tournament, held in Phoenix, Az., featured five teams in the top-25 and 10 top-50 teams in the country, according to the most recent Golfstat poll. Arizona State, the host and second-ranked team in the country, won the whole thing easily as they posted a -20 score.

The other teams that finished in front of the Tar Heels were the Texas (-8), UCLA (-7), Arizona State’s B team (-2), and Oklahoma State (-2). 

North Carolina posted scores of 288, 281 and 283 in its three rounds, respectively. 

Who stood out?

Despite coming up short of a victory, there were a few notable performances that deserved attention. Austin Hitt ultimately finished tied for sixth, as he recorded scores of 72,67 and 70 —good for four-under. This was the junior’s fifth time finishing in the top-six this season and his third time achieving this feat in the last four starts. 

He sunk four birdies on the front nine and notched another one on the 12th hole before bogeys at holes 13 and 18 dropped him down to a tie for sixth and finish at 209 for the tournament. 

Right behind Hitt was senior Joshua Martin, who shot a three-under at 210 for the tournament, putting him tied for eighth place. He improved as he progressed through his three rounds, shooting a 71, 70 and a 69. In the final round, he birdied on holes one and three but gave up those strokes later on the front nine. On the back nine, Martin birdied holes 13 and 15 to solidify his spot in the top-10 

In his collegiate career, this is his 10th time finishing in the top 10. 

Other notable Tar Heel performances were Dougie Ergood (+4) and Ryan Gerard (+6).

When was it decided?

Second-ranked Arizona State showed how dominant they can be from the very beginning and nobody came close to challenging them. 

Arizona State’s Chun An Yu shot an incredible 66, 67, 68 to finish at 12-under and took home medalist honors over second-place Cole Hammer (-8) from Texas. 

Yu carried Arizona State, as he was the only player from its A team to finish in the top-10.

Why does it matter?

North Carolina faced good competition before heading into the ACC Championship, where it'll face many talented squads, including three in the top-10 national rankings. 

This highly-competitive match can give the players a good idea of what to expect and know what to work on. 

When do they play next?

North Carolina will be back in action on Thursday, April 18, to kick off the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship at the Old North State Club in New London, N.C.

@andrewmontross

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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