Gouge, a sophomore from Elizabethton, Tenn. (Elizabethton H.S.), held and built on to his one-stroke lead from day one by shooting a one-under par 69 on Tuesday afternoon. He separated himself from the rest of the field by knocking down birdies on holes 17 and 18 for a back-nine score of 33 to clinch the win, his first of his collegiate career.
After shooting a 68 in the first round during poor weather conditions, Gouge returned to the links and battled after shooting a one-over par 36 on the front nine. He came out on to the back-nine by shooting level over the first four holes before hitting a birdie attempt on 14, pared 15, and then bogeyed 16 leading to the final two decisive holes.
After all scorecards came in, Gouge held off some tough competition for a two-stroke victory with a tournament score of 137. Finishing behind King's tournament champion was Edward Thomas III (-1, 139) of Barton, Adam Hedges (E, 140) of Belmont Abbey, and Trevor Banks (Virginia Intermont) and teammate Richard Powell who each shot a one-over, 141.
Powell finished in a tie for fourth place overall with VI's Trevor Banks improving his score from day one to day two by three shots. After shooting back-to-back scores of 35 on the front nine, the difference came in the back nine where his three-shot improvement was seen.
|Taylor Gouge, So.|
|Head Coach Brian Kamm|
King's Ross Maietta (Bexley, England) turned in the team's third top-10 performance by finishing ninth with a second round 70, improving by three shots from Monday for an overall score of 143. John Scott finished in a tie for 17th overall (75-75-14) to round out the scoring while Sam Hobday finished 40th overall (83-78-161). Michael Chua played as an individual and placed t-28th (76-79-155) as did Jake Stone, who placed 45th (87-84-171).
The Tornado finished tied for second overall with Belmont Abbey College, each shooting identical scores in both the first and second rounds (288-282-570). Barton College won the team tournament title by a mere two strokes (568) and also shot a 282 as a team on day two. Erskine College finished a distant fourth, 28 strokes off the pace of King.
The Lady Tornado also finished second overall in their home invitational tournament. King held sole possession of second place with a two-day score of 670 (332-338). They held off third place Limestone College (676) by six shots.
Mount Olive won the tournament, running away with the championship with a 640 (321-319) score.
Elizabeth Swallow (Berkshire, England) earned her first top-five finish of the year and her third top-10 finish in as many events this season. The freshman shot a 159 (80-79), placing her in a tie for fourth overall and served as one of two top-10 placements for the King women.
Sophomore Cortnee Young (Cleveland, Tenn.) improved her score from Monday by four strokes, hitting a two-day total of 168 (86-82), good for a ninth place finish. Sophomore Anna Walker just missed the top-10 after falling back seven shots from her day one score (82-89-171) for 11th place. Just behind her was senior Esther Gandarias, who finished tied for 12th (84-88-172).
Kerby Jones rounded out the King lineup with a 22nd place 183 (94-89).
Malorie McBride participated as an individual and placed t-25th overall (100-89-189), bettering her score from day one to day two by 11 shots.
Both teams will be in action in different tournament next Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 15-16. The men will be at Lincoln Memorial for the Railsplitter's Fall Invitational, held at Waioto Winds Country Club (Pineville, Ky.) The women will compete at the Patsy Rendleman Invitational at the Country Club of Salisbury (Salisbury, N.C.). Each tournament will conclude the men's and women's fall golf season.