SANDESTIN, Fla. - The LaGrange golf team had its strongest showing of the fall at the Golfweek Fall Invitational that finished Tuesday.
The Panthers finished second by one shot behind St. Johns (Minn.) with a three-day total of 877 over the par 71 The Raven Golf Course. The Panthers started the day four shots behind second round leader and USA South member Methodist.
The Panthers beat all five teams in the field ranked in the Golfstat Division III Top 10. The Panthers were one shot ahead of No. 3 and defending national champion Oglethorpe. They beat No. 1 ranked Wittenberg, who finished 16th, by 36 shots.
Methodist, ranked second, finished fourth. Fifth-ranked Texas-Tyler was fifth, followed by No. 7 Illinois Wesleyan in sixth and No. 10 Emory in 13th. Fellow USA South members Averett, Greensboro and Christopher Newport finished 15th, 17th and 18th respectively.
Leading the way for the Panthers was sophomore Cory Howard, who won his first collegiate individual championship.
Howard was the only golfer in the tournament to shoot under par all three rounds. He had rounds of 69, 68 and 68 for a tournament total of 205; six shots ahead of St. Thomas' Alex Kapraun. Howard made only four bogeys in the tournament and did not make a bogey during his second round. He went 26 straight holes at one point without a bogey.
James Liang followed Howard with a 220 total. Liang improved his score each round, finishing the tournament with a final round 1-over par 72. Victor Choi began the tournament with an even-par 71, then finished with back-to-back rounds of 77 for a 230 total.
The Panthers close out their fall schedule at the O'Briant-Jensen Memorial on Oct. 22-23 in Greensboro, N.C.