EATONTON, Ga. – Barry sophomore All-American men’s golfer Adam Svensson won his school-record fifth tournament of the season Tuesday, shooting a 3-under 67 in the final round of the Bobcat Invitational.
Svensson was the only golfer in the 93-player field to break par for the tournament. He finished at 1-under 139 in the 36-hole event on The Golf Club of Cuscowilla’s 6,847-yard, par-70 course. The tournament, hosted by Georgia College, was reduced to two rounds due to poor weather conditions.
Svensson, the No. 1-ranked player in NCAA Division II, won his fifth individual tournament title of the season. His victory established a school career record – all of his wins coming in the 2013-14 season.
“It feels pretty good to break the record,” Svensson said. “It was brutal conditions, and I just kind of stuck in there. It’s a special win, knowing that it’s a record-setting win for Barry.”
The Buccaneers, ranked No. 1 in the country, finished second as a team, shooting 284 in Tuesday’s final round for a 594 total. South Carolina-Aiken won the tournament by three strokes. Nova Southeastern was third, a stroke behind the Buccaneers. First-round leader Clayton State finished fourth at 596, and Lynn fifth at 597 in the 17-team field.
Clayton State’s Fredrik Lindblom was the individual runner-up at 2-over 142. He shot 73 Tuesday. Aiken’s Brandon Robinson-Thompson, Armstrong Atlantic’s Shad Tuten and North Carolina-Pembroke’s J.C. McFadyen tied for third at 143.
Barry senior Jared Dalga shot 1-under in the final round to finish in a three-way tie for eighth at 146. Junior Barry Jole shot 74, and tied for 44th with a 154. Senior Scott Smyers had a final-round 76, finishing in a tie for 61st at 157. Freshman Mario Beltran shot 74, cutting 11 strokes off his opening round to tie for 68th at 159. Senior Marcelo Huarte recovered from a tough first day to shoot 77, bettering his opening round by 15 strokes. He was competing as an individual.
The reality of another individual title setting in coming down the stretch, Svensson challenged himself to make birdie over the last four holes. He three-putted on 15 for a bogey before missing a birdie putt on 16 to settle for par. But he birdied 17, and made par on 18 to get to 3-under for the day.
“I just told myself that should be the number,” said Svensson, whose eight birdies led the tournament. “I know my potential. I’m a little bit surprised, but I’ve worked hard. Just the experience of getting to know the courses has paid off. It’s a pretty big accomplishment for me.”
Dalga finished with six birdies, and, like Svensson, was 2-under on par-5 holes. Barry’s 18 birdies as a team matched Aiken for the most in the event. The Buccaneers’ 4.90 average and 2-under composite score as a team on par 5s was second to Lander’s 4.75 and 5-under.
Knowing the tournament would be shortened to two rounds after Monday’s second round was cancelled, the Bucs entered Tuesday in a tie for seventh, following its roughest round of the season.
“We had a team meeting (last night) because we were all pretty bummed,” Svensson said. “We talked about staying focused. It’s a pretty big comeback for us to finish only three strokes back. It gives us confidence to know when we’re down we can come back.”
Barry will take the next two weeks off before hosting the Buccaneer Invitational presented by Carrabba’s March 31-April 1 at Normandy Shores Golf Club in Miami Beach.
“The break’s good,” Svensson said, an understandable sigh of relief reflecting the three-week grind the Bucs have been on since departing for Austin, Texas during Spring Break. “I’m pretty tired right now. I’m looking forward to the break before we play at home.”