ECU men finish fifth at AAC golf championships

ECU Pirates

(ECU Sports Information photo)

BROOKVILLE, Fla.— East Carolina posted a final-round score of 4-over 292 and finished in a tie for fifth place at the 2021 American Athletic Conference Men’s Golf Championship at Southern Hills Plantation on Sunday.

“Our goal today was to shoot under par and move up the tight leaderboard,” Pirate head coach Andrew Sapp said. “Unfortunately we didn’t come through with it. It was a great experience for our players to play in the final group with the leaders and for our returning players that will help them in the future.”

South Florida ran away from the field to finish atop the leaderboard with a 54-hole total of 17-under 847. SMU came in second at 12-under 852 followed by Cincinnati in third at 4-under 856 and Wichita State in fourth at 1-over 865. UCF, ECU and Memphis tied for fifth place. Temple finished eighth at 37-over 901.

It was the fifth American team championship for USF in men’s golf, as the Bulls had swept the tournament from 2015-18. The team’s final score of 847 was the third-lowest in tournament history as the event made its debut at Southern Hills Plantation.

Albin Bergstrom became the fourth USF individual player to claim medalist honors, firing a 6-under 66 that featured six birdies and an eagle to win by three strokes at 11-under-par 205 (68-71-66). SMU’s Noah Goodwin (70-70-68), Wichita State’s Marcus Wochner (66-70-72) and Cincinnati’s Sam Jean (71-69-68) shared runner-up honors at 8-under-par 208.

ECU junior A.J. Beechler followed up Saturday’s 1-under-par round of 71 with a 3-under-par round of 69 to finish in seventh place at 4-under 212 (72-71-69). Senior Stephen Carroll posted a final round score of 1-over 73 and finished tied for 12th at par 216 (69-74-73).

Seniors Tim Bunten and Patrick Stephenson each closed with a 3-over 75 with Bunten finishing tied for 19th at 3-over 219 (73-71-75) and Stephenson tying for 22nd at 6-over 222 (73-74-75). Sophomore Connor Jones finished 38th at 12-over 228 (75-75-78).

“A.J. played terrific today and Stephen had a nice tournament finishing at par,” Sapp said. “We will miss our graduating seniors, Patrick and Tim, as they have been mainstays in our conference championship line ups. It has been a pleasure coaching them.”

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