The West Virginia golf team opened up its spring season over the weekend with a strong showing at the Gators Invitational, scoring eight over par and placing 18th.
The tournament, originally scheduled to be completed Sunday, was affected by inclement weather, but that didn’t stop the Mountaineers from posting their lowest score in three years of attending the tournament.
In round one of the competition, the Mountaineers shot an even par through the first 18 holes. Junior Kurtis Grant shot a 2-under-par 68 to pace WVU in the first round. The Herndon, Virginia, native finished the day at 1-over-par after 30 holes.
On Saturday, the tournament opened with the second round in the morning, followed directly by the final round that afternoon. After a weather delay, WVU finished the second round and then played another 18 holes to finish the event with scores of 280-281-287=848 at eight-over-par in 18th place.
The eight-over-par score marked their best effort in the tournament to date, cutting the team score of 16-over-par from last year in half. The Mountaineers competed against nine Top 25 teams in the 21-team event.
"This is the lowest score we have ever posted in our three years coming here," head coach Sean Covich said. "I'm very proud of this group of guys. We have the makings of a great team, just need to keep working hard and improving the wedge game."
Mark Goetz — the senior captain of the team — paced the way for West Virginia, shooting two-over-par with rounds of 71-72-70=213. On his final hole of the tournament, Goetz finished strong, and eagled the 525-yard, par-5 hole to finish the third round at even par.
Sophomore Trent Tipton competed in his fourth collegiate event and the first in the Mountaineers' lineup. The Orient, Ohio, native recorded eight birdies on the weekend, and posted a career-best 69 in the second round to shoot 4-over-par with a 71-69-74=214.
Junior Kurtis Grant scored the low round of the tournament for the Mountaineers, shooting two-under-par 68 in the first round of the tournament on Friday. He posted an overall score of 68-74-80=222 at 12-over-par.
Jackson Davenport — the lone freshman on the starting lineup this weekend — also finished the weekend with a scorecard of two-over-par, while also recording eight birdies, four in the first round, to finish with a 71-70-71=212 score.
Next up for the Mountaineers is yet another tournament in the Sunshine State, as WVU will travel to Tallahassee, Florida for the Seminole Intercollegiate next weekend, at the Golden Eagle Country Club.