Golf: Panthers run away with Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational title

Golf: Panthers run away with Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational title

The LaGrange golf team put together its most impressive performance of the 2014-15 season, running away with the Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational title Sunday at the Jekyll Island Golf Club Pine Lake course.

If the tournament had been a NASCAR stock car race, the Panthers would have lapped the field. The Panthers fired a final round three-under par 285 for a three-day total of 1-under par 863, the only team under par for the tournament.

Fourth-ranked Illinois Wesleyan (873) finished second 10 shots back of the Panthers. Third-ranked Methodist (881) was a distant third, 18 shots back, followed by No. 2 Oglethorpe (884) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (886) to complete the top five.

The 30-team field had 13 ranked in the Golfstat.com Division III Top 25, including top-ranked Texas-Tyler, which finished 41 shots back of the Panthers in 12th place.

"We thought winning the Callaway Invitational was big, but this was even bigger than Callaway," said Coach Lee Richter. "Besides the national championship these are the two biggest tournaments we play in. The guys are extremely excited and so is their coach."

Senior Cory Howard tied Methodist's Mason Stutler for the individual championship. Howard fired a final round 4-under par 68 to finish with a nine-under 207 total for the tournament. 

Howard started the day three shots back of Stutler. He played his second straight bogey free round, making four birdies and ending the tournament on a streak of 47 straight holes without a bogey. 

Joining Howard on the all-tournament team were sophomores Osborn Theam and Logan Lanier. Theam shot a final round 69 to tie for fifth with a 214 total. Lanier tied for seventh, two shots back of Theam after finishing with a 71.

Freshman Ryan Najim (226) and junior Alex Ball (240) rounded out the scoring for the Panthers.

The Panthers play in the Bermuda Intercollegiate Inviatational on March 23-24.