Augusta State Out Duels Clemson

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Courtesy of AugustaState.com
 
College CentralAUGUSTA, Ga. -- Augusta State and Clemson endured a four-hour rain delay and then staged one of the most dramatic duels in Cleveland Golf/Augusta State Invitational history Sunday afternoon at Forest Hills Golf Club, and it took an eagle on the 18th hole from ASU senior Oliver Wilson to deliver the Jaguars to the team title.

Wilson sank a 14-foot putt after driving the green on the 290-yard, par-four 18th to earn medalist honors by two shots over Clemson's D.J. Trahan. Both Wilson and Trahan equaled the tournament course record of eight-under 64 Sunday, first set by Tennessee's Stuart Smith in 1981 and matched by Wake Forest's Bill Haas in 2001 and Georgia Tech's Nicholas Thompson in Saturday's second round.

Wilson's heroics were the difference in the team title as well, as the third-ranked Jaguars collected their sixth victory of the season by outlasting top-ranked Clemson, the overnight leader, by two shots. ASU established a new single-round tournament record with a final round of 21-under 267 and also set a new 54-hole record at 44-under 820. Tennessee set the previous mark of 23-under 841 in the 2002 Cleveland/ASU Invite. ASU also established a new school record as well with their 44-under total. The Jags' previous mark of 30-under 834 was set at the Gator Invitational in 2000.

Oklahoma State and Wake Forest tied for third place at 25-under 839 and Georgia finished fifth at 23-under 841. Georgia Tech took sixth at 22-under 842, one shot back of the Bulldogs.

The title, the 10th for ASU in the 25-year history of the event and its fourth in the last five years, came against a field that included nine of the top 17 teams in the country and 14 of the top 40.

'Of our six wins this season, this certainly means the most,' said ASU coach Josh Gregory. 'For our guys to go out and shoot 44-under in our event, in front of our fans and family and friends says it all. This is the fourth time we've been paired with Clemson in the final round and the fourth time we've beaten them.But they're the top-ranked team for a reason and they've played well all year.'

Wilson's victory is the third of the season and the second of the spring for the senior from Masfield, England. His round of eight-under 64 set a new career-low, as did his three-round total of 17-under 199. The individual title is also the second for Wilson in the last three years. He chipped in for eagle on the 18th in 2001 to capture the individual title and deliver ASU to the tournament title as well.

'I knew standing on the (18th) tee that I needed to do something big,' said Wilson, a first-team All-America selection as a junior. 'It was the best shot I've ever hit in my life, by far. I didn't think I hit the putt hard enough. I was trying to get it close and it went in and it ended up being the difference.'

Wilson wasn't the only Jaguar to establish a new career best on Sunday. Freshman James Heath, who entered the final round tied with Wilson for the lead at nine-under 135, carded a four-under 68 to finish alone in third at 13-under 203, his best finish as a Jaguar. Sophomore Kalle Edberg fired a six-under 66 to jump into a tie for 11th at seven-under 209, and sophomore Emmett Turner matched Edberg's finish, posting a final-round of three-under 69. Sophomore Scott Jamieson managed a final round of even-par 72 and a three-round total of two-over 218.