KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – The Valdosta State golf team entered the 2016-17 statement with something to prove, and did so in impressive fashion after finishing up at 4-under 572 for a second place trophy on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016, at the Kiawah Island Invitational in Kiawah Island, S.C.
The position marked VSU’s best finish since October 17-18, 2011, when the Blazers closed out the TVA Credit Union Invitational in second place at the Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club in Killen, Ala.
“We proved what we’re capable of doing,” said Head Coach Jared Purvis on Tuesday evening. “From the practice round until the very end, our guys prepared and did everything they were supposed to do. We played very well in this tournament.”
The Blazers drew a late tee time on the final day, which led to a tough finish on Tuesday afternoon after inclement weather began to roll in off the water. Valdosta State showed resiliency, however, and remained focused in order to represent one of only two teams in the tournament to finish under par.
“There were storms that dodged us all day coming off of the ocean, but they decided not to dodge us on those last three holes,” added Purvis. “It was windy and rainy, but that’s part of golf. Rollins (who finished first at 7-under 569) didn’t have to deal with weather thanks to an earlier tee time, but it happens. That happens even at the PGA level, and although we probably pushed a little down the stretch to try and beat the weather, our guys played hard to the end.”
Individual scores for the Blazers included a team-best 2-under 144 for Olav Zandveld, who dominated the course on Monday with a 4-under 68 before finishing with a 2-over 74 on Tuesday. His performance in the tournament placed him in a tie for sixth among the field of 88, while teammate Colton Godwin came in on the heels of Zandveld in 10th place with a consistent tournament effort that led to a score of 1-under 143.
The remaining two contributors in the field for Valdosta State included Jordan Long, who finished tied for 13th with an even par 144, and Davis Roche was just two strokes over par with a final tally of 146 in 22nd place.
“Again, this proves what we’re capable of doing,” added Purvis. “We have a good mindset now on what it takes, and understanding where they are and where they are trying to get. It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight, but we’re just trying to get a little better each time out.”