Freshman Luke Jerling wins his first career tournament
April 15, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. - Freshman Luke Jerling birdied two of his last four holes Sunday at the Wolfpack Spring Open to win his first career college tournament and help the Lamar men's golf team to a second place finish in its final tournament before the Southland Conference Championships.
Jerling matched his career-best round with a 4-under 68 on the par-72, 7,358-yard Lonnie Poole Golf Course. The native South African opened with a 71 on Saturday to finish the 36-hole tournament at 5-under-par 139, one stroke better than Jay Mulieri of Loyola (Md.).
Jerling opened his second round with a birdie on the par-5, 578-yard first hole and added a birdie on the fifth hole. However, Jerling also took three bogeys through the first six holes to stand at 1-over-par through six holes. He would then run off four straight birdies, and finished his final round with eight birdies.
Unfortunately, the Cardinals could not hold on to their first round lead and capture the team title. Lamar opened with a 4-over-par 292 and improved to a 289 on Sunday for a two-round total of 581 (+5). Host North Carolina State shot a 5-under 283 to come from behind and finish at 577 (+1), four strokes better than the Cardinals.
No. 31 East Carolina was the highest ranked team in the 17-team tournament and placed third at 585 (+9). Middle Tennessee State was fourth at 590 (+14), followed by Louisville (596) in fifth, and Loyola (Md.) and Francis Marion tied for sixth (600).
LU senior M.J. Daffue failed to defend his individual title but still posted a pair of solid rounds. The 2011 Southland Conference Player of the Year won the first of his four collegiate victories at last year's Wolfpack Spring Open.
Daffue finished tied for fifth in the 90-player field after a pair of even-par 72s. In Sunday's final round, Daffue was 2-over-par through 14 holes, but picked up a pair of birdies over the final four holes to get back to even par.
Fellow senior Xavier Feyaerts tied for seventh, one shot behind Daffue with a 1-over-par total of 145. After opening with a 74, Feyaerts fired a 71 on Sunday to break into the top 10. Feyaerts finished Sunday with three birdies and two bogeys, and took par on the final seven holes.
Senior Kevin Hesbois and sophomore Stephane Dubois tied for 40th at 9-over-par 153. Both players opened with a 75 and closed with a 78. Dubois made the turn at 2-under-par, but shot 8-over on the back which included a quadruple bogey eight on the final hole.
Lamar will be looking for its 24th Southland Conference team title at next week's Southland Conference Championships from Stonebridge Country Club in Dallas. The 54-hole event will begin Apr. 23.