KSU golf coach Jay Moseley has led some impressive teams in his four seasons with the school, though his current young roster could be the best yet. Led by a team-low round of 71 by Kelby Burton, KSU rallied from a four shot deficit to capture its third Rees Jones Invitational title in four seasons on Tuesday.
“I think this team is immensely talented,” Moseley said. “It’s probably too early to say if its the best team or a better team than others, because we’re so young and so early in the season. I thnk the potential on this team is higher than I’ve ever had. We’ve got a lot of really talented players, and our guys are learning how to play under pressure.”
The Owls had to deal with more than just pressure, but also strong wind and challenging playing conditions at the Haig Point Golf Club in Daufuskie Island, S.C.
“We love going to the golf course. We’ve been there five years in a row, so it’s been a staple on our schedule,” Moseley said. “When you get a hard golf course and wind, it’s really tough to manage your motions and obviously golf is difficult. We were mentally prepared, which I think gave us a big advantage over some teams.”
As a team, the Owls had the lowest score on the final day at 298, followed by hosting South Carolina at 299. KSU finished with a tournament-best score of 885, while the Gamecocks and South Florida tied at 887 a piece.
Individually, juniors Austin Vick and Jimmy Beck led the team with cards of 218 and 219, which placed them 4th and 6th respectively. Freshman Chris Guglielmo and Burton both shot 225 in the three- round tournament. Jonathan Klotz finished at 228, while Teremoana Beaucousin tied for 33rd in the tournament as the Owls sixth man.
While the team may not be quite as experienced as it has in the past, Moseley wasn’t shocked to see his team keep up the winning tradition.
“It’s actually our first team win with two freshman in the lineup. That’s obviously pretty exciting, getting some young guys out there,” Moseley said. “For both of them it was their first win and Kelby Burton is coming off a redshirt year. We obviously knew he was going to be hungry to get back into action. All of the guys across the board, we had good solid play from top to bottom.”
Championing the Rees Jones Invitational has been a springboard for the Owls in the past few seasons, and Moseley thinks that starting the season off tough will benefit his guys down the road.
“Not too often do you get to see your game plan kind of come together and unfold the way it did. I was extremely proud,” Moseley said. “It was a big win for us, and I think it will really give the guys a lot of confidence and momentum going forward. It’s our first win away from here in a year and a half, so it was a big win for the guys.”
KSU will play in Baton Rouge this weekend at the David Toms Invitational, hosted by another SEC school in LSU, before returning to Pinetree Golf Club in Kennesaw for their first hosting of the season with the Pinetree Invitational on Oct. 21 and 22.