VIDEO: Jake Headrick Interview
VIDEO: Randy Wylie Interview
SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. – In a remarkable showing, the Carson-Newman men's golf team ran away from the field in the Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate to capture the tournament title by a whopping 25 strokes and in doing so they also secured their first tourney victory of the season as C-N's Jake Headrick (Maryville, Tenn.) netted his first career individual title at the Sevierville Golf Club in Sevierville, Tenn.
The Eagles were in a field that included seven Division I schools, as well as the No. 18 squad in Division II, Lincoln Memorial, but none of the competitors could post a lower score than C-N on any of the three days in Sevierville. C-N concluded the 54 hole competition at 17-under. Second-place LMU could only muster a score of eight-over. This is the second consecutive year the Eagles have won a tournament where one of their student-athletes topped the individual leaderboard.
"It was a fantastic performance for the Eagles as a whole," said coach Randy Wylie. "I'm thrilled. Dalton [Reese] (Warrenton, Ga.) started us off with two really strong rounds the first two days and the final two rounds for Tom Forster (Oundle, England) and Jake Headrick were phenomenal. Today was Tom's first top four finish and Jake's first win. That's going to do a lot for them going forward."
Headrick's first championship in the Blue and Orange came as a result of an outstanding final round 66, the event's best day three score and tied for best 18 hole performance over the three day competition. The sophomore began the day deadlocked with Forster and LMU's Sam Broadhurst in second, but the Maryville native bested Broadhurst by six strokes and finished two shots better than Forster. He clinched the win by sinking a 60-foot birdie putt on the final hole.
"It feels pretty good," Headrick said. "I knew Tom was chasing me all day and we were neck-and-neck and I was able to birdie the last hole to beat him, which was fun. I wasn't hitting it great, but I was putting [well]. Inside 10 feet I was solid."
The final birdie on the par four second was a fitting climax for Headrick, who was the tournament's best player on par fours with a score of -5. He was also seven-under on par fives, tied for the second-best mark. Only two players could claim more than Headrick's 14 birdies.
One of those two players was Forster, the intercollegiate's runner-up, who was in the red 16 different times over the course of three days, one of which was an eagle that he scored on Tuesday. He also shared second-place with two other student-athletes for the best stroke average on par fours, crafting a 3.87, while tying for C-N's best score on par threes.
Despite a disappointing 77 on Tuesday, Reese still earned a tie for seventh, his seventh career top-10 finish, and remained in red numbers at two-under. He finished in the top 10 in birdies with 12 and in stroke average on par fours and fives.
Placing 23rd was Brady Childers (Granite Falls, N.C.) following 18 holes in which he carded a three-over 75. He led the team in pars by racking up 34 and matched Reese with a 3.00 stroke average on par threes.
Anthony Marcinelli (Knoxville, Tenn.) was responsible for the fifth score on the board for the Eagles. He capped the event with a 79 for a final mark of +15. Will Hurt (Powell, Tenn.) took to the course as an individual and tied for 32nd at 12-over.
The Eagles return to action in just six days at the Division II Regional Preview in Muscle Shoals, Ala. For news and updates on the program, visit cneagles.com.