ECU Takes Team Title At River Landing
April 9, 2011
WALLACE, N.C. -- Facing a six-stroke deficit heading into the final 18 holes, East Carolina posted a final round 8-under 280 to defeat day-one leader Liberty University by three strokes to win the 2011 River Landing Intercollegiate co-hosted by ECU and UNC Wilmington. ECU, which claimed its second tournament title of the season, finished ahead of three teams ranked in front of it in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings on Saturday at the par-72, 6,898-yard River Landing Country Club.
East Carolina recorded a 54-hole team score of 23-under 841, while the Flames finished at 20-under 844 followed by Conference USA rival Memphis in third-place at 16-under 848.
The Pirates, who finished in third-place at last year's event, had three players finish in the top seven and were led by juniors David Watkins, Harold Varner and Adam Stephenson, who each logged a 2-under 70 in the final 18 holes despite cold and overcast conditions that dominated the day's round. Watkins birdied five holes on Saturday to finish at 9-under 207 in third-place, six strokes behind individual medalist Josh Brock of UNC Wilmington. Varner recorded a bogey-free round Saturday with two birdies and carded a 54-hole score of 6-under 210 to finish in sixth-place, one stroke ahead of Stephenson. Stephenson shot 4-under on the back nine to finish the day at 2-under 70 and tied for seventh overall at 5-under 211.
ECU boasted four of the 17 golfers in the 81-player field to round out the event under par, including junior Jake Colley who jumped from 22nd into a tie for 14th place at 1-under 215. Junior Conner Sock posted a final round score of 1-under 71 to move from 36th-place after 36 holes to tied for 22nd with a 2-over 218.
The Pirates' five juniors recorded a total of 11 rounds under par. Varner and Watkins shot under par in all three rounds, while Stephenson and Colley each posted fewer than 72 shots in a pair of rounds.
Four players competed as individuals for ECU with redshirt freshman Ryan Eibner registering the lowest score among the group at 7-over 223, tied for 43rd. Freshman Jackson Stuckey finished one stroke behind his teammate at 8-over 224 with senior Warren Straub carding an 11-over 227 and freshman Jack Keefe firing a 15-over 231.
ECU, which began the week ranked No. 39 in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, finished three strokes ahead of No. 33 Liberty in second-place, 18 strokes in front of No. 20 N.C. State in fifth-place and were 29 strokes better than No. 18 Virginia, who finished seventh.
East Carolina will return to action April 24-26 at the Conference USA Championships being held at the Texarkana Country Club in Texarkana, Ark.