RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico (Feb. 25, 2014) – Mateusz Gradecki (Oborniki Śląskie, Poland) and Chris Hickman (Centreville, Md.) both fired a 1-under 71 in the final round of the Puerto Rico Classic on Tuesday, and the ETSU men’s golf team tied for ninth after carding a 4-over-par 868 from the Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa’s River Course.
Hickman led the Blue and Gold all weekend and tied for 16th after finishing at 4-under-par 212 (73-68-71) for the tournament. Hickman, who had 11 birdies on the weekend, picked up momentum towards the end of his final round as he played the final 10 holes at 3-under par. Joining Hickman with a solid final round was Gradecki – who birdied the par-5, 562-yard No. 11 – and parred the remaining 17 holes en route to registering a 71.
Overall, the Bucs played the final two rounds at 6-under-par (283-287), and tied with Missouri, UNC Greensboro, and No. 32 SMU.
For the second straight year, Alabama – the No. 1-ranked team in the country – won the tournament as the Crimson Tide held off a late charge from fourth-ranked Georgia Tech. Alabama beat the Yellow Jackets by four strokes as the Crimson Tide finished at 45-under-par 819 (273-272-274) on the weekend.
Alabama’s Robby Shelton entered the final round with a three-shot lead and managed to earn a share of the individual title. Shelton and Clemson’s Miller Capps posted a 12-under 204, while Capps overcame a six-shot deficit to pull into a tie for first-place.
Sophomore Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) finished the three-day tournament at 2-under-par 214 (75-69-70) and tied for 27th. Meronk birdied two of the first four holes to start the final round and ended the day with back-to-back birdies to finish with a 2-under 70.
Overall, the tournament featured 11 teams ranked in the top-50 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. Individually, 29 of the top 150 players competed in the Puerto Rico Classic, including 11 in the top 50, and six in the top 13.
The Bucs return to action March 10-11 as ETSU heads to Myrtle Beach, S.C. for the General Hackler Invitational.
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