The Charlotte golf team posted the low round of the day with a final round three-under 281 to finish in a tie for third overall at the Irish Creek Collegiate, co-hosted by Charlotte, Davidson and the Charlotte Sports Foundation. The final round concluded the 54-hole tournament on the par-72, 7,099-yard course at The Club at Irish Creek in Kannapolis, N.C.
Charlotte was the only team under par Sunday, going from ninth to finishing tied with Kennesaw State for third place at 14-over par. The 49ers and Owls tied with 866 after Charlotte went 10 strokes lower from round two to round three (294-291-281--866) to tie for its best finish of the season.
Junior Franco Castro (Alpharetta, Ga. / LSU) had the best round of the tournament at six-under and his 65 tied for the fourth-best round in tournament history. Castro started the day tied for seventh and finished second overall at seven under (72-69-65--206), just one shot away from medalist Jimmy Beck of Kennesaw State, who joined Castro as one of only five golfers to shoot below par on Sunday Beck was at eight-under for the tournament (67-70-68--205). Castro and Beck were two of just eight golfers who were under par overall after the 54-hole event. The 65 is tied for the second-lowest in school history.
Castro's 65 tied for the second-lowest round in school history and his overall second-place finish,in the largest field he has played in this year, was the best of his career and his second Top-Five finish this season.
I am very proud of the guys and the effort today,” said Charlotte head coach Ryan Cabbage. “We needed a gutsy performance today given our position after yesterday. To have the low round of the day by four shots is a really good round for us. Franco was great today with a 65. I have been telling Franco he is really close and the guys on the team have been telling him he is really close and to see him come through the way that he did today was awesome.”
North Carolina shot an eight-over 292 and held onto its lead and the team title. The Tar Heels finished at seven-over par (282 285 292 859) to win by two strokes over North Carolina State.
Aiding in Charlotte’s finish were a pair of even par rounds from freshmen Thomas Rowland (Consett, England / St. Bedes Catholic School and Sixth Form College) and Riley Davenport (Woodstock, Ga. / Sequoya HS) both posted matching 71s in different ways.
Roland started with two double-bogeys on his first four holes, but carded six birdies and two bogeys over the course of the remainder of his round for the 71. Davenport was steadier, with two birdies and two bogeys for the par finish.
Rowland finished in a tie for 29th, up 12 spots from the start of the day to end at six-over (75-73-71—219) for the weekend.
“I am proud of Thomas and Riley too,” added Cabbage.” Thomas started out four-over and he battled back to shoot even. Riley was solid all day and to have those two freshmen to step up in a situation when needed them was very encouraging.”
Senior Braeden Cryderman (Huntsville, Ontario / Queens University of Charlotte) ended in a tie for 15th at two-over for the tournament (71-74-70—215) by going one-under par on Sunday.
"Braeden had a really solid round today on a day that was not very easy," said Cabbage.
The 49ers will play their final regular-season event next weekend at the Hawkeye Invitational at the Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City, Iowa Saturday and Sunday.