ETOWAH, N.C. – Lincoln Memorial used a tournament-low two-under 286 to surge past Carson-Newman and win the 2016 South Atlantic Conference Men's Golf Championship on Tuesday at Etowah Valley Golf Club, while Coker's Will Bundy was the individual medalist after slipping past Jon Noble of Queens with a final round 73 to earn a one-stroke victory.
The Railsplitters entered the day chasing Lenoir-Rhyne and Carson-Newman, who finished the second round deadlocked at 15 strokes over par. The Bears faltered on the final day, leaving Lincoln Memorial to battle with the Eagles for the championship. While Carson-Newman shot its lowest round of the tournament, the Railsplitters finished an astonishing two under for the day to claim a three-shot victory.
Lincoln Memorial fired the lowest 18-hole score at a SAC Championship since 2012 and claimed their second conference crown, both of which have come at Etowah Valley after the team's first-ever conference championship in 2010. The Railsplitters earned the league's automatic bid to the 2016 NCAA Men's Golf Championship, which will begin on May 2 in the Orlando area.
Three Railsplitters shot even par or better on the final day of competition, with Cody Johnson's four-under 68 representing the lowest round of any golfer at the tournament. Johnson carded six birdies on Tuesday, including three in a four-hole stretch on the front nine, to finish at six over for the tournament.
Connor Froning paced the Railsplitters with a five-over 221 for the tournament, with Kurtis Campbell matching Johnson's score of six over one stroke back. George Duncan's nine-over performance placed all four scorers for the Railsplitters in the top 21 of the standings.
Carson-Newman's Nick Kennedy fired his best round of the tournament, a two-under 70, on the final day to finish the tournament a stroke off the lead at two over par. He and teammate Jake Headrick (+3) made appearances on the all-tournament first team with Jace DeVault (+4) representing the Eagles on the second team. But even a final-round 291, a four-stroke improvement off Carson-Newman's previous best performance, was not enough to hold off the hard-charging Railsplitters.
Coker's Will Bundy was the individual medalist after firing a one-over 73 on the final day, narrowly overtaking Queens' Noble by one stroke. Bundy birdied four holes on Tuesday and led the Cobras to a third-place finish, with significant support coming from second team all-tournament honoree Wanjoo Lee.
Coker was 11 strokes off the lead with their third-place finish, besting a Queens team with three players at or below par on the final day by a single stroke. The Royals fired a 287 Tuesday for the second-best team round of the tournament behind the Railsplitters' final round performance. Wingate rounded out the top five an additional two strokes back.
Newberry finished sixth at 30 strokes over par, followed by Lenoir-Rhyne (+34), Mars Hill (+35), Brevard (+39), and Tusculum (+45) to finish out the top 10. Anderson was 11th at 61 over, while Catawba finished 12th at 72 over par.
Will Bundy, Coker
Will Bundy, Coker
Nick Kennedy, Carson-Neewman
Jon Noble, Queens
Brad Hawkins, Tusculum
Jake Headrick, Carson-Newman
Charles Hartzog, Mars Hill
All-Tournament Second Team
Jace DeVault, Carson-Newman
Wanjoo Lee, Coker
Adam Lumley, Mars Hill
Connor Froning, Lincoln Memorial
Fredrik Fossum, Newberry
Tyler Stone, Wingate