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Furman sweeps SoCon championships; ETSU's Davies finishes second and earns All-SoCon honors
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (April 20, 2004) -- East Tennessee State University freshman Rhys Davies (Bridgend, Wales) didn't bring home the championship, but he did take home plenty of honors of the final day of the Southern Conference Men's Golf Championships Tuesday at the Ridges Golf and Country Club.
Davies showed that the future of ETSU men's golf is bright, taking home All-SoCon first-team honors as well as the freshman of the year award. As for the individual championship, Davies finished second to Furman's Matt Davidson despite firing a 2-under 70 on the final day.
"I'm proud of Rhys and the year he's had," said ETSU head coach Fred Warren. "He shot a 70 today and it could have been a lot lower. I think he's definitely got a bright future."
Davies agreed that his round could have been better.
"I didn't really putt badly, it was just that either it didn't break like I thought or it did break unexpectedly," Davies said. "I hit the ball great today and gave myself a chance. I set high standards for myself, and anything less than perfection is a bit disappointing, so I can only say this year's tournament was OK."
The event was more than OK for Furman. Davidson's individual title powered a Paladins' team that captured their 12th SoCon title and first since 1997, posting a team score of 289 for the day. Furman finished at 16-over-par for the championship, 14 strokes better than Georgia Southern and UNC Greensboro, which tied for second at 30-over. The rest of the top five saw East Tennessee State finish fourth and Chattanooga end the day in fifth.
Furman will receive the SoCon's automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals in early May.
"Obviously, we're pleased with any tournament win we have, but it's great for our players to work this hard and be rewarded for it with a conference title," said Furman head coach Todd Satterfield, whose team won two of its final three tournaments before coming to the SoCon Championships. "I think playing well the last several weeks of the season kept us steady at the end today."
Indeed, the Paladins rolled to the title thanks in part to the play of Davidson, who finished the day at 5-under-par (67) and ended the tournament at 4-under (212). Davidson had to overtake Davies, who began the day atop the leaderboard at even-par and posted a final score of 2-under for the event.
Davidson held a one-stroke advantage heading into the 17th hole on Tuesday, but added one final birdie for good measure. In fact, Furman trailed UNC Greensboro after the first nine holes of the day, but blitzed through the back nine to take the decisive victory.
"I didn't know how (Davies) was doing," Davison said. "I was just trying not to make mistakes. I think the conditions today made the course more playable and I think it might have made things a little easier."
Along with Davidson and Davies, the rest of the individual leaderboard's top five included Chattanooga's Matt Brock in third, while Furman's Rob Langley and Georgia Southern's Aron Price finished tied for fourth.
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