March 29, 2011
GREENSBORO, Ga. (seminoles.com) –
Florida State freshman Joaquin Lolas earned the best finish of his career – tied for seventh place – to lead the Seminole men’s golf team to a fifth place finish in the final team standings at the Linger Longer Invitational on the Great Waters Course. Lolas finished the 54 hole tournament with two sub par rounds of 70 to finish with a two under par score of 214. The Seminole have finished in the top 10 of the team standings in three consecutive tournaments after earning only two top five team finishes in their first six tournaments of the year.
No. 4 ranked Alabama won the team championship as it led wire-to-wire to collect the team title. The Crimson Tide defeated second place Chattanooga by 18 strokes as they completed each of the three rounds with under par team scores. Alabama teammates Cory Whitsett and Bud Cauley battled each other over the final six holes of the afternoon with Whitsett taking home the individual title by one stroke.
Lolas (Lima, Peru) was magnificent over the course of the final two rounds of the tournament as he was under par for all by two of his final 36 holes. The only holes that he was above par were the first two holes of both rounds as he began both rounds with scores of par. Lolas immediately went under par on the second hole of both rounds and was off to the races after that. He was as many as three strokes under par in the second round and as many as two strokes under in the third round.
In the third and final round, Lolas finished with 16 holes at par or better with four birdies. He had three birdies and an eagle in the first round and four birdies in both the second and third rounds. Lolas played his best stretch of golf on his back nine during the third round as he carded nine holes of par or better golf with two birdies.
“Joaquin played really steady golf throughout the week,” said head coach Trey Jones. “He hit a lot of quality shots on difficult holes. I was most impressed with his positive attitude and self-confidence. This could be exactly what he needs to have a big finish to the year.”
Lolas’s previous best finish came at the Seminole Intercollegiate where he finished tied for 29th place in the individual standings. He is the second Seminole freshman in as many tournaments to finish in the top 10 of the individual standings in a tournament; fellow freshman Bjorn Hellgren finished in a tie for seventh place at the Seminole Intercollegiate.
Junior Brooks Koepka (Wellington, Fla.) earned his third consecutive top 10 finish as he carded a 215 and finished tied for ninth place in the individual standings. Koepka also finished under par in the seconds and third rounds with scores of 70 and 71. Koepka also played sub-par golf for nearly the entire third round as he carded four birdies and 11 holes of par. Koepka was never above par in the final round and was at or below par over 27 of his final 36 holes of the tournament.
“The pieces are beginning to come together for Brooks,” said Jones. “He is starting to realize the benefits of better chipping fundamentals and all of the hard work he has put in on the range. Brooks is doing a much better job of taking what the course gives him and not forcing the issue when the odds are stacked against him.
Senior Drew Kittleson (Scottsdale, Az.) finished tied for 18th in the individual standings with a three over par total of 219. He carded even par scores of 72 in the first two rounds and finished with a three over par 75. Senior Kyle Cobb (Tallahassee, Fla.) played his best round of the tournament over the final 18 holes as he scored an even par 72.
“We competed with some really good teams this week,” said Jones. “This golf course was a PGA golf course that rewards good shots and penalizes loose shots.”
Florida State closes out its regular season as it travels to play in the Arizona State University Thunderbird Invitational April 9-10. The event will be a homecoming for Kittleson who was raised in nearby Scottsdale.
Linger Longer Invitational/Mar. 27-29. 2011/Final Florida State Results Great Waters Golf Course/Greensboro, Ga./Par 72 5/13. Florida State 296 288 288 872 T7. Joaquin Lolas 74 70 70 214 T9. Brooks Koepka 74 70 71 215 T18. Drew Kittleson 72 72 75 219 T53. Kyle Cobb 78 79 72 229 T63. Bjorn Hellgren 76 76 81 233 69 Tyler Sluman 77 88 74 239* *played as an individual
Linger Longer Invitational/Mar. 27-29. 2011/Final Team Results Great Waters Golf Course/Greensboro, Ga./Par 72 1. Alabama 846 8. Memphis 880 2. Chattanooga 864 9. Coastal Carolina 890 T3. Georgia 866 10. Mercer 898 T4. Stanford 866 11. Jacksonville 903 5. Florida State 872 12. Furman 908 T6. Kennesaw State 878 13. Appalachian State 926 T6. Charlotte 878