The boys were headed for a double header as the Fall season rounds out, scheduling two tournaments in a matter of a week. The first trip found OUR SONS headed to Vestavia Hills and the Old Overton Club for the Jerry Pate Invitational. Day one was a 36-hole affair that saw Jackson Suber and Sarut Vongchaisit continue to lead the way for the squad. Suber’s breakout Fall lost little steam in the first two frames, as the Tampa Sophomore registered rounds of 72-65 for a first day score of -3. Suber’s bogey-free 65 in the second round was the lowest of his career as a Rebel. “Root” backed up his fellow Sophomore teammate with rounds of 65-75 of his own, to finish Even for the first day.
The Bangkok, Thialand native’s first round 65 was also a career low score for him, and included 3 birdies and two eagles. The rest of the team scoring left a little to be desired on day one, as Bordy Balckmon, Jack Gnam, and Veeti Mahonen all hovered around 73 to 75 on their rounds on the day. After the dust settled, the rebels sat in the middle of the pack in 8th place at +13.
Day two continued a bit of tough sledding for the fellas. Suber and Vongchaisit came back down to earth with rounds of 73 and 74. Gnam and Blackmon continued to manage no more than a few over par in the last frame as well. The lone bright spot on the final day was Freshmen Veeti Mahonen. The Finnish Wonder dropped a sparkling -3 (67) on the field to boost the waning scores of the team. The final damage saw the team remain in the 8th spot at a +20 total for their two days of troubles. Brigham Young and Colorado St. finished tied for first with scores of -17.
Individually, Jackson Suber ended with an Even par total and a T15 finish. Root snuck in with a Top 25 score of +4. Mahonen’s final day rally got him to +7 total and a T31 and Gnam and Blackmon rounded it out for the team at +12 (T40) and +15 (T46).
With one not-so-great tournament in the books for the week, the team looked to rebound in scenic northeastern Tennessee and the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate. Still feeling the effects of having to spend multiple days in Alabama earlier in the week, the team got off to a bit of a lethargic start in Jonesborough.
The Golfer Named Chip, newly inserted into the lineup, made the most of his opportunity, firing a -2 (70) to lead the way for the squad. Jackson Suber was right behind the aforementioned Chipping Golfer with a round of -1 (71). Root and the Gnammer rounded out the scoring for the team with Even par 72s. The team sat at -3 in a tie for 8th after day one.
I’m not sure what the team had for dinner after that first Day. I went and checked the restaurants in Jonesborough and its, as you might expect, slim pickings. But, there is a Bojangles. So let’s assume some very powerful chicken biscuits were consumed at some interval between the end of the first round and the start of the second round because the boys came out clucking on day two.
Jackson Suber did what he has been doing on the regular these days, absolutely torched the course, dropping six birdies and an eagle on the field on his way to his second 65 (-7) of the week.
Root was right on his heels with his own six birdie performance and a round of -4 (68). Veeti Mahonen and the Jack Gnammer finished it out for the team on a huge scoring day with -2 (70) rounds each. The birdie barrage got the team back into contention, shooting them up to 4th place and -18, 8 shots off the leader ETSU.
The final day had all the makings for another surge up the leaderboard for the team, and it looked fairly promising as Jackson Suber went out in -3 and Root in -1, but some untimely bogeys on the back prevented any further ground gains overall. Suber finished at -2 on the day, good enough for an overall -10 score an another Top 5, his 3rd of the season so far. Vongchasit had another good round with a -2 (70), getting him a T-15 finish. The Gnammer stayed consistent with another Even par round to get to a -2 total and a T-32 slotting.
The Golfer Whose Name is Chip rallied after a rough Day 2 for a -1 (71) on Day 3 and a T-43. Freshmen Veeti Mahonen rounded out the team scoring with a +2 (74) on the final day and a +2 T-47 for the week. Additionally, Senior Brody Blackmon, playing as an individual, finished at Even for the week and a T-39.
Out of the top four, Louisville was really the only team able to put any meaningful scoring together down the stretch. Their final round of -12 pushed them ahead of ETSU to take the tournament title at -34, five shots clear of the field and 11 shots better than Ole Miss.
This Week’s Tournament: A modest little excursion to what I’m sure is a total goat track at The Hoakalei Country Club Invitational
When: October 27th
Where: Hoakalei Country Club, Ewa Beach, Hawaii
Golfweek Rankings: Team Ranking: No. 37 (previously unranked)
Individuals: Jackson Suber: No. 36
From the Club’s website: “Hoakalei means “reflection of a lei” and comes from a Hawaiian legend about the volcano goddess Pele and her sister Hi’iaka’s journey across the island chain to retrieve Pele’s lover Lohiau.
In the story, Hi’iaka crossed the Ewa Plain and came to see a reflection of herself in a spring while adorned with garlands of lehua blossoms (thus the “reflection of a lei” translation).” So romantic.
The course itself, an Ernie Els design, is the longest course in Hawaii at a whopping 7,413 yards. There’s also 119 bunkers on the course, so a nice little beach vacation for the team.
The Ole Miss Team:
Jackson Suber (Soph., Tampa, Fla.): A T-15 and a Top 5 in his last two tournaments. Career low rounds of 65 in both of those. Ballin’.
Sarut Vongchaisit (Soph., Bangkok, Thailand): Remains the steady No. 2 player for the team. A Top 25 and Top 15 finish in the last two tournaments.
Chip Getz (Senior, Paradise Valley, Ariz.): Missed the Jerry Pate but was a steady force for the team in Tennessee with two rounds of -2.
Jack Gnam (Soph., Ridgeland, Miss.): Rough start in Alabama but rebounded with a -2 total and a T-32 in Tennessee.
Veeti Mahonen (Freshmen, Kirkonummi, Finland): Up and down month for the freshmen, but did manage to get in a -3 (67) round at the Jerry Pate to pace the team that day.
Abilene Christian, Army, Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Denver, No. 30 East Tennessee State, Idaho, No. 9 Louisville, Loyola Marymount, Marquette, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico State, Sam Houston State, San Diego, Missouri-Kansas City and Texas-San Antonio, ULL, and the host Hawai’i squad.
Top individuals who are playing for second:
Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate: No. 13 John Murphy — Louisville, No. 25 Matthias Schmid — Louisville, No. 32 Hunter Eichhorn — Marquette, No. 33 Jack Rhea — ETSU, No. 95 Noah Steele — SHSU
Next Tournament: Spring season begins March 1, 2020