FRANKLIN, Tenn. (April 5, 2015) – Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) held a one-shot lead midway through the final round and was the clubhouse leader as the last groups were finishing up; however, the ETSU junior watched Vanderbilt’s Matthias Schwab and Hunter Stewart make a late surge to overtake the lead as the Buccaneer finished third at the Mason Rudolph Championship, which concluded on Sunday afternoon at the Vanderbilt Legends Club.
Meronk – who carded a final round score of 1-under 70 and finished the 54-hole tournament at 4-under-par 209 – began the day two shots off the lead, but he quickly catapulted up the board as he played the front nine at 2-under en route taking his one shot lead following a birdie on the par-4, 427-yard No. 8. The Buccaneer junior was the leader at 5-under until he bogeyed two of the first four holes on the back nine, but he followed up with a birdie on the par-5, 517-yard 14th, moving back to 4-under. From there, Meronk found himself in a three-way tie atop the leaderboard with Louisville’s Robin Sciot-Siegrist and Matthias. Sciot-Siegrist – who began the final round with the lead – posted consecutive birdies on No. 14 and 15 and Matthias moved to 4-under after his birdie on No. 9, while he parred the first four holes on the back nine. Despite parring his final four holes of the round and being the clubhouse leader at 4-under 209, Meronk was forced to play the waiting game to see what Matthias would do down the stretch.
Unfortunately, Matthias birdied two of the final four holes moving to 6-under for the tournament, while Stewart – who was 2-under thru 11 – finished with four birdies in his last seven holes to tie his teammate with a 54-hole score of 6-under-par 207. Stewart (No. 4) and Matthias (No. 44) are both ranked in the top-50 nationally.
Vanderbilt made it a clean sweep on its home course as the fifth-ranked Commodores led wire-to-wire to claim the championship with a team score of 6-under-par 846 (280-287-279). The Commodores were the only squad to finish below par as No. 11 Georgia Tech and 23rd-ranked Alabama tied for second at 5-over-par 857.
The 39th-ranked Buccaneers finished fifth at 17-over-par 869 (291-288-290), placing ahead of No. 24 SMU, No. 48 Louisville and No. 39 Georgia Southern. In total, the 14-team tournament field consisted of eight teams ranked in the top-50.
Meanwhile, as Meronk – the 20th-ranked player by Golfstat – was recording his second straight top-10 finish and seventh of the season, senior Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) and junior Gudmundur Kristjansson (Reykjavik, Iceland) also had respectable showings. Pugh finished tied for 12th at 3-over-par 216 (71-71-76) and Kristjansson tied for 21st at 8-over-par 221 (74-76-71). Kristjansson ended strong as he carded an even-par 71 on Sunday to move 23 spots up the board. The Icelander bogeyed his first three holes of the round and was sitting 3-over thru 14, but Kristjansson birdied three of his final four holes to record the 71. Kristjansson led the Blue and Gold with 12 birdies on the weekend, marking the fourth-highest total in the 81-man field.
The Bucs make their final tune-up before the Southern Conference Championship when ETSU heads to West Virginia for The Greenbrier Collegiate Invitational, beginning on Monday, April 13 at The Old White TPC.
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