The North Carolina men’s golf team wrapped up its first tournament of the year on Tuesday afternoon with a fifth-place finish at the Camp Creek Seminole Invitational in Watersound, Florida to kick off the 2020-2021 season.
The ten-team tournament field consisted of all ACC schools, including Duke, Clemson, Wake Forest and Florida State — all of whom finished above the Tar Heels by tournament's end. Following UNC in the leaderboards were Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Virginia and Virginia Tech, respectively.
The Tar Heels shot one-over-par for the 54-hole tournament and hovered around the middle of the field for the majority of the event. As a group, the Tar Heels finished with one eagle, 47 birdies and 165 pars, tying for third-most pars of any team there. The Tar Heels had three golfers finish the event with more than 35 pars — sophomore Austin Greaser, first-year Peter Fountain and senior Ryan Gerard — which helped carry the team throughout the extended weekend.
Who stood out?
Fountain led the way for the Tar Heels, shooting ten-under-par to notch a second-place finish out of 60 golfers for the tournament. Fountain totaled 13 birdies and one eagle during the three-day event to finish five shots behind the winner, Clemson's Jacob Bridgeman. The second-place finish for Fountain marks the second consecutive year that a Tar Heel has finished runner-up overall at their first collegiate event, after Greaser accomplished the same feat at the 2020 Turning Stone Invitational.
Gerard and Greaser also put forward solid efforts for UNC, with Gerard shooting one-under for the event to place 15th overall and Greaser finishing three-over to tie for 25th.
“Obviously the main thing that stands out to me is Peter Fountain," head coach Andrew DiBitetto said. "He was just a freshman making his Tar Heel debut and he was incredible all week long. I got to see every shot that he hit for the entire tournament, all 54 holes, and he was extremely impressive."
When was it decided?
The match came down to the very end with a battle between Clemson, Florida State and Wake Forest. Florida State and Wake Forest, who both finished the final round tied at 3 strokes ahead of the Tigers, battled it out in two playoff holes where the Seminoles managed to break a 22-under-par tie on the second hole to bring home the victory. The Tar Heels finished one-over-par for the final round, matching their overall score.
Why does it matter?
The event was the first major tournament of the season for the Tar Heels, who had a long layover from team play after the 2019-2020 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. UNC was able to start off the season on a positive note with some promising performances from some of its key golfers to provide some confidence for the team going forward in their chase of a national championship trophy.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will be back in action from Feb. 15-17 when they travel to La Quinta, California to participate in The Prestige, hosted at the PGA West-Norman Course.
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