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Golden Eagles finish 11th at Rees Jones Invitational


DAUFUSKIE ISLAND, S.C. -- The Tennessee Tech men's golf team looked for a way to make a climb up the standings Tuesday in the final round of the Rees Jones Fall Invitational, but winds picked up throughout the day and the final tour of the course proved to be the toughest for the field at the Haig Point Club.

The Golden Eagles remained in 11th place, shooting a final round 322 after opening with a 310 Monday morning and adding a 318 Monday afternoon.

Liberty won the tournament with a 54-hole total of 870, leading from start-to-finish. The Flames' six-over-par total was one stroke off the tournament record. East Carolina (894) placed second with host South Carolina (896) third. The Top Five included Charlotte (906) in fourth place and Winthrop (909) fifth.

Liberty's Niklas Lindstrom won medalist honors after firing a 2-under 70 in the final round. Lindstrom claimed a six-shot victory with a total of 213 (-3), the second lowest 54-hole score in tournament history.

Two-time defending champion Kennesaw State took eighth with a score of 921 (+57).

Freshman Lee Whitehead (in photo) was Tech's top finisher, placing in a tie for 44th place with a 238 total. After rounds of 77 and 78 on Monday, he wrapped up with an 83 on Tuesday.

Junior Greg Kitts was next for coach Polk Brown's team, placing 52nd after shooting 81-77-85--243. Senior Lee Maxwell was the only Golden Eagle to break into the 70s on Tuesday, finishing with a final round 73 after rebounding from a 92-79 combination on Monday. Maxwell was tied for 54th place at 244. Freshman Adam Cunningham placed 61st with an 80-84-82--248 scorecard.

Freshman Mitchell Thomas, who appeared to hold a Top 10 spot following Monday's play, faced disappointment when his second round 77 was disqualified after he signed an incorrect scorecard. Thomas had shot 72 and 77 Monday, and was in ninth place when the teams left the course. The error took Thomas off the leaderboard, but he was able to come back and play Tuesday. He scored a final round 82.

The Golden Eagles get right back into action next week, playing in the UT Martin Skyhawk Classic at Paris Landing State Park on Monday and Tuesday.

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
1. Liberty 284-290-296=870 (+6)
2. East Carolina 298-303-293=894 (+30)
3. South Carolina 295-296-305=896 (+32)
4. Charlotte 306-296-304=906 (+42)
5. Winthrop 293-301-315=909 (+45)
6. UNCW 309-303-298=910 (+46)
7. Iowa State 299-315-301=915 (+51)
8. Kennesaw State 306-303-312=921 (+57)
9. Charleston So. 315-301-320=936 (+72)
10. Francis Marion 316-309-314=939 (+75)
11. Tennessee Tech 310-318-322=950 (+86)
12. Presbyterian 330-315-320=965 (+101)