STATESBORO, Ga. (Feb. 3, 2020) – With the first event of the spring 2020 schedule, ETSU’s very own Austin Carter (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Sam Espinosa (Pedrena, Spain) did not disappoint. Competing in the Georgia Southern Individual Collegiate event, Espinosa carded his first collegiate Top-10 finish, tying for ninth. Meanwhile, Carter concluded the tournament with a Top-25 appearance, his first of the season.
“We got exactly what we wanted by bringing Austin and Sam to this early season tournament,” stated head coach Jake Amos. “We saw some strengths and weaknesses in their games, as well as areas we can adjust. I think they both were able to knock the rust off which is important. Both of the guys posted really nice scores in the first two rounds and were competitive. The tournament just showed us how they can get better by the time team play comes around. We will need both of them to step up this spring as we start getting into the team events.”
The event began on Sunday with 36 holes of action at the Georgia Southern University Golf Course in Statesboro, Ga. Espinosa started the event with an opening round of one-under-par (71), his lowest career round as a Buccaneer. The opening-round 71 positioned the Spain native in a tie for third overall. The second round saw much of the same action as Espinosa fired yet another one-under-par (71), sitting in a tie for third place with 142 (-2) heading into the final round on Monday. The ETSU freshman responded with a three-over-par round of 75 in the final round of the tournament, falling six slots in the standings. However, the first two rounds sparked Espinosa into a Top-10 finish, tying Wei Wei Gao at one-over-par (217).
Carter started off his tournament just one stroke behind his fellow teammate, carding an even-par (72), matching his low round of the season. The even-par score positioned Carter in a tie for eighth heading into the afternoon tee time. The Kingsport native then turned in a one-over-par (73) in the second round, falling just one spot to a tie for ninth. Monday’s round proved to be tougher as Carter finished with an eight-over-par (80), finishing the event tied for 25th overall at nine-over-par (225).
Jake Maples of Georgia Southern won the event with an overall score of six-under-par (210), followed by Virginia’s Andrew Orischak with a tournament of five-under-par (211). Hunter Dunagan rounded out the top three with a three-under-par (213).
The Bucs will return to action when ETSU travels to Tallahassee, Fla. to take part in the Seminole Intercollegiate from Feb. 22-23.
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