Tyler Duke—Staff Writer and Chris Raimondi—Sports Editor
The Kennesaw State men’s golf team closed out their fall season in record-breaking fashion on Tuesday with a 30-shot victory on their home course at the Pinetree Intercollegiate.
KSU has now won the tournament at the par-72, 7,108-yard Pinetree Country Club three years in a row as many records were shattered in this year’s performance.
“Our team is obviously comfortable playing that golf course and there is a fair amount of local knowledge, but it’s more about execution and doing the things you need to do to score well,” KSU head coach Jay Moseley said.
The Owls got off to a great start on Monday morning as they shot a school record 12-under par 276 to jump out to an 18-shot lead. Freshman Fredrik Nilehn led the team with a school and Pinetree record 8-under par 64.
“Fredrik is mentally talented,” Moseley said. “I expected Fredrik to have an immediate impact this fall, and he already has prior to this week. But he has just developed and improved week in and week out. He’s really been putting in a lot of work on his short game and his putting and I think that is what really paid off for him this week.”
The pace was continued on Monday afternoon as the team shot a 7-under 281 to open up a huge 29-shot lead going into the final round on Tuesday.
An even par 288 on Tuesday capped off the victory for the Owls as they tied the school record for the lowest 54-hole score with a 19 under-par 845.
Nilehn finished at 14-under par with scores of 64-70-68 to break the school record for lowest 54 hole score previously held by Matt Nagy.
Seniors Jimmy Beck and Austin Vick concluded their Kennesaw State careers at Pinetree Country Club with a team victory and good individual performances. Beck finished in second place with a total score of 8-under par 208. Vick finished in third place with a total score of 7-under par 209.
Freshman Wyatt Larkin was fourth for the Owls and finished tied for 29th with a total score of 229. Senior Kelby Burton shot 233 and finished with a tie for 41st. Junior Carlos Segura Oliva shot 239 and finished with a tie for 52nd. Freshmen Paul Doig and Buster Bruton competed in their first career collegiate tournament at Pinetree. Doig finished with a 236 and tie for 45th. Bruton shot a 244 and placed 60th.
The Pinetree Intercollegiate closed out a productive fall season for the Owls. In five tournaments, they captured two wins and finished fourth or better in every competition.
As for next spring, Moseley understands his team’s position after a positive fall. “They’re very high,” Moseley said about his team’s expectations. “That’s the way the players want it. Our players know they have standards and goals that are very lofty and very high and there is nothing wrong with that because we feel like the sky is the limit in terms of how good this team can really get.”
The team’s spring season begins at the Jones Invitational at Valencia Country Club in Valencia, California Feb. 23.