SAC Championship sends No. 14/15 C-N to South Carolina to defend titles

VIDEO: Randy Wylie Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – For a second-straight season, No. 14/15 Carson-Newman heads to the South Atlantic Conference looking to defend its title, this time at the Camden Country Club in Camden, S.C. from April 14-16.

The Eagles have a chance to become the first team to three-peat as the conference champions since Presbyterian from 2000-02.

Only three schools since 1990 have won three or more consecutive SAC titles, those being Elon with five-straight from 1990-94, Catawba with three from 1998-00 and Presbyterian with four from 2000-03. Catawba and Presbyterian were co-champions in the 2000 season.

"It's very fun (defending a title), a lot of expectation," Carson-Newman coach Randy Wylie said. "We just gotta bring our A-game and play one shot at a time and just stay focused on what we're doing and not get too overly worried about the whole three-peat kind of thing.

"I mean, it's really neat, it's great to have that attention and notoriety for our program and our school, but to make this happen, we're just going to have to stay focused on what we're doing."

Since 2004, C-N has been crowned the top team in the SAC four times. In that same time, just two Eagles have won the SAC's top medalist title: Tanner Davis in 2004 and Tom Forster (Northamptonshire, England) just a season ago.

Forster's tournament MVP achievement came after he tied for the fifth-best total score in SAC history with a five-under 211.

"It's new for him to go back and be defending the conference championship," Wylie said. "So it's going to be the same thing where he has to not obsess about that but just play his game and play one shot at a time."

The three-time All-SAC first team selection will lead the charge for the Orange and Blue for an eighth event on the year. Joining him will be fellow All-SAC selections Jake Headrick (Maryville, Tenn.) and Jake Mynatt (Knoxville, Tenn.), who landed on the second-team and honorable mention unit, respectively.

The All-Conference trio has the best scoring averages on the year with Forster at the top holding a 70.81 that is good enough to land him at sixth in the nation on Golfstat's player rankings.

Like Forster, Headrick is no stranger to the SAC Championship as this will be his fourth appearance in the event. He has landed in the top-20 each season, but his best outing was a fifth-place showing in 2016 when he shot three-over as a freshman.

Headrick will play at the two-spot for the Eagles this time around, his seventh time this season as the second seed.

Also returning to the field is Jackson Tyler (Wilmington, N.C.), playing as the fifth-seed for a second-straight year. The sophomore tied for 13th last season alongside Headrick at eight-over. This will be the eighth time he has been a starter this season.

Mynatt makes his SAC Championship debut along with fellow freshman Will Collins (Knoxville, Tenn.).

Mynatt has started in every event for C-N this season, holding a 74.0 scoring average. As for Collins, this will serve as his fourth time in the starting lineup. Through 18 rounds of play, Collins possesses a 75.2 scoring clip.

Carson-Newman will face stiff competition in the tournament from both a regionally and nationally ranked standpoint. For back-to-back weeks, it has remained right behind the Southeast Region's top team in No. 10/11 Lincoln Memorial. Those two squads are the only SAC team to be ranked nationally. Joining the tandem in the region are eighth-seeded Newberry and 10th-seeded Queens.

The three-day tournament opens on Sunday morning with the Eagles taking to the links at 10:45 a.m. Live scoring for the event will be provided thanks to the folks at Coker. A full recap with results will make its way to after the conclusion of each round.