Columbus State men take second at Peach Belt golf tournament

dmitchell@ledger-enquirerApril 21, 2013 

The Columbus State men’s golf team shot the lowest score of the day in Sunday’s third round of the Peach Belt tournament at Callaway Gardens, but fell just short in its bid for a conference championship.

The Cougars shot 286 at the Mountain View course in the final round, finishing with 875 over 36 holes, just two strokes shy of champion South Carolina-Aiken. It was Aiken’s ninth team championship.

“The boys really gave it a run today,” Columbus State coach Mark Immelman said. “They got off to a rough start in the first six holes yesterday, but to their credit they came back and played solid golf the rest of the way. Hopefully, that will give us some momentum going into the postseason.”

The Cougars were led by Bryan Lichimo, who shot 216 to finish second individually, four strokes shy of low medalist Matt Atkins. Atkins shot 4-under 212.

Lichimo was 5-over through the tournament’s first seven holes, but played very strong golf the rest of the way. During one six-hole stretch, he shot 6-under and put himself in a position to challenge for the individual championship.

“I didn’t start the way I wanted, so it was really nice to come back and be in contention today,” Lichimo said. “I feel like things started to click. Hopefully, that will continue.”

Jesse Gibson was second on Columbus State at 220, and Robert Mize shot 221.

Armstrong finished in third as a team with a three-round score of 886.

All five of South Carolina-Aiken’s golfers finished among the top 30 placers individually. With their win, the Pacers have clinched a spot in the South/Southeast regional. Columbus State and the others will find out their fate on Friday when the field for the regional is announced.

On the girls side, Lander cruised to a nine-stroke victory over second-place Armstrong. Led by Teresa Caballer Hernani’s second-place individual finish, the Lady Bearcats shot 611 over the tournament’s two rounds. Hernani shot 148, just one stroke behind North Carolina-Pembroke’s Meghan Moore.

Lander coach Roger Bagwell said credit goes to the whole team, however, not just Hernani.

“I think it was a team effort here,” he said. “Everyone contributed. It’s something I got on to them about last night. (Hernani) really need help from everyone to get this done, and they stepped up today.”

Flagler’s Nicole Keyser and Lander’s Michelle Reyes tied for third individually. Keyser and Reyes shot 74 and 73, respectively, in their final rounds to finish at 149.

Columbus State came in fifth place at 644 behind Flagler (623) and North Carolina-Pembroke (624).

Madison Williams led the way for the Lady Cougars with a 13-over 157. Heather Alister followed at 159.

The women played on the Lake View course both days.

This was the second consecutive year that Columbus State and Callaway Gardens has hosted the Peach Belt men’s and women’s tournaments.

David Mitchell, 706-571-8571; Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.

Men’s scores

1. USC-Aiken (873)—Atkins 212, Dickson 219, Solis 222, Letien 226, Welborn 228

2. Columbus State (875)—Lichimo 216, Gibson 220, Mize 221, Stumpfig 224, Gumowski 228

3. Armstrong (886)—Griffin 218, Tilton 219, Tuten 221, Wagoner 229, Erickson 231

4. Georgia SW (888)—Whittaker 218, Gahman 221, Ritchot 221, Olsson 229, Griffin 234

5. Clayton State (890)—Beaupre 220, Lindblom 221, Haskell 225, Shenstone 227, Vetnar 231

6. Georgia College (897)—Fox 219, Monte 225, Smith 226, Garrett 233, Trocchio 236

7. Montevallo (902)—Godsey 219, Lowery 223, Skinner 228, Noce 240, Campbell 244

8. Lander (903)—Prior 220, McColl 222, McCullough 229, Nelson 236, Van Narin 239

9. North Georgia (915)—Caldwell 222, McFarlin 230, George 231, Rish 240, Brackett 247

10. Flagler (930)—Barnoya 228, Schindler 230, Waxberg 235, Melle 237, Horne 244

11. UNC-Pembroke (945)—Houston 225, Mullman 234, Abts 244, Cloninger 245, Dunn 251

Women’s scores

1. Lander (211)—Hernani 148, Reyes 149, Uremovich 159, Bueno 160, Martins 160

2. Armstrong (620)—Birch 150, Sammarco 150, Mettler 161, Mosley 162, Rockholt 165

3. Flagler (623)—Keyser 149, Santacroce 156, Ferrer 159, Tucker 161, Marinan 171

4. UNC-Pembroke (624)—Moore 147, Bundy 156, Walor 159, Sumner 165, Crow 166

5. Columbus State (645)—Williams 157, Alister 159, Bagley 163, Galek 166

6. Montevallo (666)—Natale 153, Beck 165, Shaner 170, Chaudhry 178, Witt 197

7. North Georgia (676)—Olarte 160, Pelaez 170, Truelove 170, Gill 175, Noble 189

8. Young Harris (810)—McEntyre 182, Bludworth 194, Raterman 201, Pinson 233, Mason 280

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