KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. - The University of Kentucky men's golf program claimed its first title of the season winning the Cleveland Golf/Kiawah Island Intercollegiate at the Turtle Point Golf Club in Kiawah Island, S.C. The Wildcats sat in fifth place going into the second and final round of play, but overcame a six-stroke deficit to win the team championship by three strokes with a 580 team total. Georgia State finished second with a 583 team total.
'This is a great way to start the year,' head coach Brian Craig said. 'We had a tough first day and put ourselves in a bit of a hole, but we fought back. I couldn't be more proud of the guys.'
Junior All-American John Holmes led the Kentucky charge as he fired a four-under 68 in the second round. Holmes, who entered the final round tied for 10th place, finished with a 140 two-day total and placed second overall behind Aron Price of Georgia Southern (135).
'John (Holmes) shot a 68 when we needed a low round to win,' Craig said. 'That is a true testament to his game and talent.'
Holmes' teammate, junior Mark Blakefield, shot a final round 73 and tied for third overall with Peter Laws of Kent State. Blakefield shot a career-low 68 on day one. His third-place finish is the best of his collegiate career.
The Cats, who shot a team total 298 in rainy conditions on Monday, improved by 16 strokes on day two with Holmes, Blakefield, sophomore Matt Kohn (29th), and juniors Matt Wells (T-32nd) and Brandon Waldrop (T-43rd) all contributing.
UK will have a two-week break before teeing off Monday, Sept. 22 at the Mason Rudolph Championship in Nashville, Tenn.