April 12, 2014
Wes Conover, the East Carolina men's golf team posted its lowest round of the tournament to win the 2014 River Landing Intercollegiate Saturday for its first victory of the season.
The Pirates fired a 1-under 287 on the River Landing Country Club course to overtake VCU, who led ECU by four strokes entering the final round. East Carolina finished with a season-best 54-hole tally of 4-over 868 to beat the second-place Rams by four strokes.
The victory was the team's first since winning the Seahawk Intercollegiate at the Country Club of Landfall in February, 2012. The Pirates have won at least one tournament in six of Press McPhaul's eight years as head coach and collected eight tournament titles overall.
"College tournaments are really hard to win," McPhaul said. "We've talked about getting in position to win and it's really gratifying to see this group reap the benefits of being in that position. Our year hasn't gone exactly like we planned, but they have stayed the course, kept fighting and improving."
Conover, a sophomore from Holly Springs, N.C., earned medalist honors for the first time in his career. He fired a three round total of 4-under 212 which included a 2-under 70 in the final round. He finished the round by posting his fourth birdie of the day on 17 before paring 18 to earn a one-stroke victory over Tulsa's Logan McCracken.
"Wes is a really good player and great competitor," McPhaul said. "He showed great composure down the stretch. He was in a dual with VCU's Adam Ball, who is an excellent, national quality amateur. Wes went toe-to-toe with him, kept his head on straight, played his game and stayed calm. I'm delighted he came out on top, but I'm more proud of how he competed more than the fact that he won."
ECU senior Eric Brady recorded his fourth top-10 finish of the year as he tied for eighth at 1-over 217 (74-72-71). Sophomores Jacob Hicks and Stephen Lavenets, who was playing as an individual, tied for 14th at 3-over 219. Lavenets registered his best round of the tournament with a 1-under 71 Saturday, matching his best round of the season. Sophomore George Kilgore also carded a final round score of 1-under 71 and finished tied for 26th at 10-over 226.
Playing as an individual, freshman Clay Brown earned a 25th-place finish with a 9-over 225 with redshirt sophomore Al Dickens completing the tournament with tied for 26th at 10-over 216. Also playing as an individual was sophomore Josh Chandler, who shot a combined 6-over in rounds one and three to conclude the event tied for 50th.
Conference USA member Tulsa finished in third-place at 9-over 873 followed by Maryland (+16) in fourth with Campbell (+26) and Winthrop (+26) tied for fifth.
The Pirates will return to the links April 27-29 at the Conference USA Championships, which will be held at Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond, Okla.