To place: Verona, Wisconsin.
Course: University Ridge Golf Course (Par 72, 7,259 yards)
Tournament: Badgers Invitation 2021
HPU team ranking: 7th out of 14 teams (298-291-285–874, +10)
Individual high HPU: Stuart fuller (75-71-68–214, -2), T-6e
Next HPU tour: Monday October 11 – at Carolina Collegiate (Spartanburg, SC)
VERONA, Wisconsin – Behind a 68-year-old graduate student Stuart fuller to place in the top-five, the High Point University men’s golf team completed the best round of the course in the final round of the 2021 Badger Invitational on Tuesday, Sept. 28 with a 285 (-3).
Tuesday’s round propelled the Panthers to seventh place in the tournament and was six strokes better than the second round and a 13 stroke improvement from the first round. The High Point final round was also one of the best singles rounds in the field, placing a tie for the sixth lowest single-round team score of the 42 that were played. HPU’s 285 was better than any round of the seven programs the Panthers completed above and was better than the Wisconsin and Iowa State Power-5 rounds.
Fuller was the driving force behind High Point’s push as he netted six birdies on the way to a 68 that took him to -2 in the tournament and a share of fifth place. First-year student Charlie barr was right behind him on Tuesday with a 69 with four birdies for the first round in the 60s in his college career and a tie for 34th place. Christian Castillo picked up three pigeons in his round of 73 on Tuesday to finish the event twice tied for 26th. Avery Prize tied for 52nd at +9 after a 77 in the final round while Adam hooker won a share of 61st place at age 12 after scoring a 75 in the third round.
“I’m super excited that Stuart got his best end of career at any school he’s been to and that’s exactly why we brought him in,” said the head coach. Brady gregor said about the top five ranking of graduate transfer. “As a team the guys got bigger today. Every time you have the lowest team lap of the day you play well. I think it showed them that they can play with anyone and if we just come in at -5s we might be talking about a win right now.
Fuller returned a par 3 Tuesday, but still finished ahead of the field by three under on the short holes of the tournament. He was a sub after four holes thanks to a pair of birds sandwiched around a bogey and went down to dime and even in the event three holes later with a birdie of seven. a shot after a bogey at the 11th par-5, but finished the tournament strong with three more birdies in his last six holes for the 68.
“Today was a really fun run in Wisconsin and I’m happy to return to High Point after finishing with a strong run,” Fuller said. “I really tried to stay stable all day. After making the turn to -2 I just wanted to keep rolling on the last nine which I luckily was able to do. I’m very happy we were able to do that. pulling it down all day as a team too. Now we can’t wait to get down to business in Spartanburg in a few weeks. “
Barr started the round with a birdie on the first hole and added another on the eighth par-3 to make the two-under turn. He scored his third bird of the day on the 11th before putting the only bogey on his card at the 12th par-3. There was another birdie in store for Barr as he found red numbers out of 15, as did three of his teammates, to finish three under in the final round with a 69 and four over the tournament.
Castillo was tied after the turn after carding a single bogey and birdie, but rose to +3 the same day after putting another bogey and a double on the back card. He responded well in the last four holes with a pair of birdies, including 15 like Fuller and Barr, to end the day in one and the tournament in two.
Price also made the turn even after a pair of bogeys and birdies, but was four after the first three back holes after two more bogeys and a double. He picked up another birdie of 17 which was sandwiched around a pair of bogeys to finish with a 77. Hooker carded his two birdies up front but headed back after a double and two bogeys. He started the last nine with eight consecutive starts before ending the tournament with a bogey of 18 for a final round of 75.
Illinois State and Sam Houston State maintained their positions at the first and second in the team standings while Cincinnati climbed to third after being the only other team several strokes below par on Tuesday. The Bearcats took the individual medalist after Sam Jean climbed three places to -7 with a 69 in the final round.
The Panthers are in action in the Carolinas for the first time this year in two weeks when the HPU travels to Spartanburg for the Carolinas Classic hosted by Wofford on October 11-12.