Pugh battles, but finishes second at A-Sun Championship

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bucs place second behind No. 17 North Florida; Pugh and Gibson named to All-Tournament Team

BRASELTON, Ga. (April 23, 2013) – All eyes were all on Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) and North Florida’s MJ Macguire on the back nine at the final round of the Atlantic Sun Championship on Tuesday afternoon.

However, when the dust settled, Macguire – the 24th-ranked golfer in the Golfstat rankings – capped off the UNF sweep as the 17th-ranked Ospreys won the team and individual championships at The Legends Golf Club in Braselton, Ga.

UNF won the team championship by 14 strokes over the Blue and Gold, marking the second straight year ETSU was knocked off by the Ospreys. The Bucs finished the final round at 4-over 292 to move ahead of Kennesaw State for runner-up honors as ETSU totaled a three-round score of 895, compared to the 17-over-par 881 number put up by UNF.

Despite holding a one-shot lead after the 12th hole on Tuesday, Pugh was edged out for the individual crown by Macguire, 215 to 217.

Pugh and Macguire both entered the day four shots back of leader Austin Vick from Kennesaw State; however, after the Owl sophomore golfer recorded a nine on the par-5, 566-yard No. 10, the individual champion was going to be decided by either ETSU or UNF.

Pugh put himself into contention by getting out to a blazing start as the Buccaneer sophomore shot a 3-under on the front nine, and his birdie on the par-4, 409-yard No. 11 gave the Welsh native a one-shot lead over Macguire on the leaderboard. However, after carding his fourth birdie over a six-hole stretch, Pugh registered consecutive bogeys on No. 12 and 13, giving Maguire a one-stroke advantage.

From there, Maguire eventually took a two-shot lead with his birdie on No. 14, and despite pulling within one stroke with a birdie on No. 16, Pugh posted a bogey on No. 17 and couldn’t recover. In the end, Pugh finished the day at 2-under-par 70 and placed second at 1-over (72-75-70 – 217) for the tournament. Meanwhile, Macguire, a fellow sophomore, went low on Tuesday (4-under 68) and generated a three-round total of 1-under (75-72-68 – 215).

As Pugh was battling for the championship, fellow sophomore Scott Gibson (Southerness, Scotland) finished right behind his Buccaneer teammate in third at 2-over-par 218 (71-76-71).

A pair of freshman rounded out the scoring efforts for the Blue and Gold. Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) placed in a four-way tie for 16th (78-75-76 – 229) and Gudmundur Kristjansson (Reykjavik, Iceland) ended in 31st (80-76-79 – 235).

Vick – who ended the round at 9-over – placed eighth overall at 8-over-par 224.

Following the tournament, Pugh and Gibson were both named to the All-Tournament Team at the awards ceremony.

UNF received the A-Sun’s automatic bid to the NCAA Regional, which will be contested May 16-18.

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