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Golden Eagles collect third top five finish with fourth place in Sapphire, N.C.


By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

SAPPHIRE, N.C. - For the third time this fall season the Tennessee Tech men's golf team cracked the top five in an event. The Golden Eagles nabbed a fourth place finish at the Hummingbird Invitational hosted by Western Carolina Tuesday evening.

Fueled by top 10 performances from sophomore Mitch Thomas and junior Lee Whitehead, the Golden Eagles combined for a 288-286-295=869 weekend at the par-71, 6,767-yard Country Club of Sapphire Valley. Ohio Valley Conference foe Belmont nipped Tech by three strokes to take third and Wofford College overcame a first-round 294 to win the event by four strokes over Appalachian State.

Whitehead collected his second career top five finish in the event, tying for third overall with a 73-69-72=214. The third place finish was the lowest finish of his career and his 214 was the third lowest score of the wiley veteran's time at Tech. Whitehead was awarded all-tournament honors as well.

Thomas played consistent golf all weekend, collecting his third straight top 10 finish of the fall season after carding a 71-71-73=215. The Knoxville native finished in a tie for seventh in the event.

Also scoring for the Golden Eagles were juniors Mason Griffin and Maxx Verble. After sitting out the 2012-13 season with an injury, Griffin wrapped up his first fall back on the links with a solid showing. He turned in an 80-69-72=221 to tie for 27th.

Playing in his first tournament of the 2013 season, excluding his tournaments where he participated as an individual, Verble made a solid showing, tying for fourth after the first day of action. The junior finished the weekend with a 71-78-78=227 to wrap up the scoring for Tech.

Sophomore Adam Cunningham concluded the event for the Golden Eagles, scoring a 73-77-80=230.

The Golden Eagles will return to action in the spring after taking off a few months for winter break. Tech's spring schedule will be release in coming weeks.