The North Carolina men’s golf team closed the fall season with a first-place finish in a wire-to-wire performance at the first-ever Williams Cup on Tuesday, earning its third first-place finish this season.
The Tar Heels established an early lead in the first round on Monday, shooting 283. Junior Austin Greaser led the charge by shooting 68, continuing his first round success from the team’s previous outing at the Blessings Collegiate Invitational. First-year David Ford also poured in a significant contribution, shooting 71 with five birdies. With the remaining of the top five Tar Heels shooting 72 each, UNC took control of first place where it would belong for the rest of the event.
In Tuesday’s second round, the Tar Heels performed even better behind Ford’s best showing of the tournament. Ford shot a team best 67 along with six birdies and 11 pars, leading UNC to a second round shooting of only 281. However, the Tar Heels’ lead was shortened by the end of this round after an outstanding showing from N.C. State brought them to second place, threatening UNC’s place at the top.
The Tar Heels stayed on top through the third round, holding off a late surge from Georgia to secure a first place finish. The team finished the event with a comfortable 17-under-par, closing the fall season on a strong win.
Who stood out?
Ford’s performance made a significant impact on the Tar Heels’ success as his consistent, high level of play was translated on the scorecard. He led UNC in total shooting and finished with 13 birdies throughout the two days. Ford finished second on the player leaderboard behind Trent Phillips of Georgia.
Greaser also had a great outing for UNC as he finished fourth on the player leaderboard with 17 birdies while shooting 210.
Sophomore Peter Fountain joined Ford and Greaser to be the three Tar Heels finishing in the top-10, giving UNC the most top-10 finishes out of all the competing schools in the event. Fountain, tied for fifth, shot 214 and chipped in 11 birdies.
When was it decided?
The Williams Cup was decided at the conclusion of the first round after UNC built a solid lead that the opposing teams could never overcome. N.C. State and Georgia did apply pressure in the second and third rounds, however the Tar Heels stayed strong and consistent in their play to secure the win.
Why does it matter?
The team’s most recent showing caps off a successful fall season when UNC finished first in three of its four outings. This success is somewhat new for the golf program as it has not started a season this well in recent years. This is a testament to the talent on the roster — especially the young talent with Ford and Fountain finding themselves leading the squad on the scorecards recently.
UNC is currently ranked fifth in Golfweek’s latest rankings, and it has a chance of moving up after defeating a few top-50 teams in the Williams Cup, including top-25 ranked Georgia.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will open up the spring season on Valentine’s Day in the three day Albany Collegiate event.
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