It was a special week for the Chattanooga Mocs men’s golf team at the J.T. Poston Invitational. They fell just four strokes shy of defending their 2020 title, but there was a consolation prize. Freshman Braedon Wear earned his first collegiate win.
Wear tied former All-American and current PGA TOUR member Stephan Jaeger ’12 for the second-lowest 54-hole score. He followed yesterday’s twin 66s with a level-par 71 for the two-shot win.
“Obviously really proud of Braedon with the win,” Coach Mark Guhne shared on the drive home. “Both of his playing partners today told me how impressed they were with him and one was shocked he’s a freshman.
“But I’m also proud of our group as a whole. We got off to a rough start but fought and gave ourselves a chance. I’m really proud of the effort including our individuals Parker (Highsmith) and Gage (Winkler).
“We’re miles ahead of where we were two weeks ago. This is something to build from.”
A squad that counted 14 bogeys over the first 36 holes (144 as a team), posted 11 in the first nine holes today. The Mocs were 9 over through 11 holes and struggling across the board. Matt Smith responded with birdies on 12, 13 and 14 with Connor Nolan joining him on the short par 4 12th and Wear on the par 5 14th. He birdied 18 to cement the win.
Wear and Nolan both carded 71 today. Smith ended with 72, while Paul Conroy had 74. Gabe Hunter’s 77 was the drop score. Freshman Parker Highsmith shot 72 with Gage Winkler ending with 77.
Wear was not alone in the top 10. Paul Conroy tied for eighth at 6 under. Smith tied for 18 at 2 under. Nolan turned in 217 with Hunter ending with 232. Highsmith was one behind Nolan at 218, while Winkler shot 226.
South Carolina claimed a true team win at 19-under 833. The Gamecocks fivesome finished between tied for 12th and 27th individually but managed rounds of 274, 273 and 286. Middle Tennessee was second at 835 followed by the Mocs with 837 which tied for the fourth-best number in school history.
Chattanooga has a little time before returning to the tee Oct. 10-12 at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate. It’s played at the Blackthorne Club in Jonesborough, Tenn.