RALEIGH, N.C. (Oct. 7, 2014) – Junior Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) earned medalist honors and the 30th-ranked ETSU men’s golf team finished second as the final round of the Wolfpack Intercollegiate concluded on Tuesday at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course.
Meronk, who claimed his second individual title this season, tied with NC State’s David Cooke at 5-under-par 208. Meronk, the 25th-ranked golfer in the Golfweek rankings, entered the day with a one-shot lead over the 93-man field, but Cooke made a charge in the final round as the Wolfpack junior fired a 4-under 67 to earn a share of the championship. Meronk held the outright lead for the majority of the final round, but the Polish standout bogeyed the par-3, 194-yard 14th, opening the door for Cooke to move into a first-place on the leaderboard. Cooke returned the favor with a bogey of his own on the par-4 16th, while Meronk moved back into sole possession of first following a birdie on the par-3 17th. Meronk used a pitching wedge to place the ball one-foot from the hole on 17, marking in his 12th birdie of the tournament. Unfortunately, with the Buccaneer junior taking a one-shot lead into the final hole and Cooke watching from the clubhouse, Meronk bogeyed the final hole, resulting in a tie for the championship. Meronk had a 5-foot par putt on 18, but it went long and ended up with the bogey. For the tournament, Meronk led the field in par-4 scoring with a 3.85 average, while he also totaled 12 birdies which tied for fourth overall.
“I played pretty solid each round and I was pleased with my performance this week,” said Meronk. “I could’ve made some more putts, but overall I was happy with my game. It’s great to get another win and hopefully I can continue playing well.”
As Meronk was battling it out with Cooke on the individual leaderboard, the Bucs couldn’t overcome their three-shot deficit as NC State won its own tournament by nine strokes over the Blue and Gold, 846 to 855. ETSU posted a 2-over-par 286 on Tuesday to finish the 54-hole tournament at 3-over 855, but the Wolfpack pulled away after recording a 4-under 280 in the final round and ended at 6-under 846.
Junior Chris Hickman (Centreville, Md.) gave the Bucs a strong push in the final round as the Buccaneer carded a 4-under 67 and tied for third at 4-under-par 209 (74-68-67). Hickman, who was one-over thru 12, turned things on late as he posted three straight birdies from No. 13-15, while registering an eagle on the par-4, 405-yard 16th to get to 4-under. The 67 marked Hickman’s lowest round of his collegiate career, while his 13 birdies on the weekend tied for the second among the tournament field.
“I started off slow today, but I stayed patient and eventually things came together at the end of the round,” said Hickman, who holed a 101-yard shot on No. 16 for his first collegiate eagle. “After I missed a one-footer on No. 12, I told myself to stay patient and focused. Things clicked and I was able to play well over the final six holes.”
Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) ended the tournament with a 3-over 74 and tied for 11th at 2-over-par 215 (71-70-74), while sophomore Mateusz Gradecki (Oborniki Śląskie, Poland) tied for 46th. Senior Tom Heggarty (Cheshire, England), who was playing in his first tournament of the season, tied for 69th and freshman Cayman Ratliff (Kingsport, Tenn.) tied for 46th. Ratliff was playing as an individual.
The Bucs now return home to host the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate, which begins Friday morning at the Blackthorn Club.
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