Valdosta, Ga. – The College of Coastal Georgia men's golf team earned a share of the championship Tuesday at the Thomas University Fall Invitational at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club.
The Mariners finished at 12-under-par 564 in the 36-hole event along with Dalton State as both teams were declared co-champions for the tournament.
"All in all, I'm pleased with how our team played," said Coastal Georgia coach Mike Cook. "It was our first tournament of the year with several new players competing for us, so I really didn't know what to expect."
Coastal Georgia shot 2-under 286 in Tuesday's second round which came on the heels of its 10-under 278 score in the opening round which ranked as the single-best round in school history on a par-72 course and put the No. 20 Mariners on top of the leaderboard.
However, the No. 2 Roadrunners had the hot hand in round two as they posted a 13-under 275 score to forge a tie with the Mariners after opening with a 289 score on Monday that left them 11 shots back of Coastal Georgia going into the final 18. S.M. Lee led the charge for the Roadrunners, shooting a 7-under 65.
Coastal Georgia and Dalton State are former rivals from the Southern States Athletic Conference. The Mariners are competing in the Sun Conference for the first time this season.
Several other Sun Conference teams also competed in this week's event including USC-Beaufort which shot 571 to finish third, Keiser which carded a 575 to take fourth, Webber International which shot 603 to finish eighth, Southeastern which shot 605 to finish ninth, St. Thomas which shot 613 to finish 11th and Warner which shot 668 to finish 14th.
For Coastal Georgia, both Mark David Johnson and Eamon Owen made the all-tournament team with top-5 finishes. Johnson finished as Coastal Georgia's low man, claiming second with a 7-under 137 score that included rounds of 69 and 68. Owen, who shared the overnight individual lead, shot 67-72-139 to finish fifth.
"He was 5-over-par at the turn and made five birdies on the back nine to bring it back to even," Cook said of Owen. "That was obviously huge in helping us get the win."
Also for the Mariners, Kyle Kidd and Chip Thompson finished among a group of players that tied for 11th at even-par 144. Kidd shot 74-70 while Thompson posted 68-76. Coastal Georgia's Harrison Stafford finished tied for 33rd at 151 with scores of 75-76.
USC-Beaufort's Newport Laparojkit was the tournament medalist, finishing at 11-under 133. He shared the individual lead with Owen after the first round as he also shot 67 and followed his fast start with a 66 in round two to win by four strokes.
The Mariners are set to play in the Sand Shark Innisbrook Invitational hosted by USCB next Monday and Tuesday in Palm Harbor, Fla.
"It'll be a tough field with three of the top five teams in the country along with all the teams that competed here this week including all the Sun Conference teams," Cook said. "We'll need to be ready."