BRAZELTON, Ga. – Jake Fendt birdied the 18th hole to give Kennesaw State a one-stroke lead, and Christopher Guglielmo two-putted for par on 18 to clinch a one-stroke victory over Lipscomb in a thrilling final round of the ASUN Conference Men’s Golf Championships that concluded Monday at the Chateau Elan’s Legends Course.
The championship is the second straight title for the Owls, third in program history, and secures the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
Led by a final-round one-under par 71 from Fendt, the Owls rallied late after Lipscomb seized a six-stroke lead on the back nine to post a third-round 7-over par 295, and complete the 54-hole tournament at 1-under par 863.
Pablo Rodriguez-Tabernero Torres, who also carded a par on 18 to keep the Owls’ lead secure, recorded a one-over par 73. Guglielmo shot a three-over 75.
“We got off to a good start and then had a tough stretch in the middle of the round and were behind at the turn,” head coach Bryant Odom said. “I think we trailed by as many as six shots, but the team showed some great resiliency and continued to grind it out.
“I told the guys to continue to battle and that we were still in it and could get it done,” Odom added. “We played the final few holes really well, and Jake made a huge birdie putt on No. 18. Pablo and Chris followed with par putts, and the putt by Chris was huge.”
Kennesaw State played its final three holes in 2-under par, while Lipscomb was 3-over par on those same group of holes.
The Owls had entered the day with a 10-shot lead over both North Florida and Lipscomb. The Ospreys recorded a final-round 5-over par 293 to finish fourth at 7-over par 871, while the Bisons posted a 2-under par 286.
Fendt and Torres totaled 2-under par scores of 214 to tie for second and finish four shots behind Lipscomb’s Dawson Armstrong, who claimed individual medalist honors with a 6-under par 210 score. Guglielmo concluded the tournament at even-par 216, while freshman Connor Coffee tied for 12th at 3-over par 219.
Kennesaw State turns its attention to a seventh consecutive NCAA postseason appearance. The NCAA Regional Championships are scheduled for May 17-19 at six pre-determined sites that include Baton Rouge, La. (University Club), Murfreesboro, Tenn. (The Grove), West Lafayette, Ind. (Kampen Course), Stanford, Calif. (Stanford Golf Course), Austin, Texas (UT Golf Club), Auburn, Wash. (National Golf Club). The national championships are slated for May 26-31 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
The entire 81-team field will be announced May 4 live on Golf Channel at noon (ET).