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Tyler Cleaves Leads Wilmington Golf at The Griffin Invitational as Team Finishes 10th Overall

File Photo of Matthew Kettleson. Photo by Adam Zundell, Senior Associate Commissioner for Communications, Mountain East Conference
File Photo of Matthew Kettleson. Photo by Adam Zundell, Senior Associate Commissioner for Communications, Mountain East Conference


PETERSBURG, Va. - - The Wilmington University golf team closed out the Griffin Invitational with a 302 in the third round on Tuesday, climbing a spot to 10th overall with a three-round score of 911 (+47) at the Country Club of Petersburg.

The Wildcats finished the tournament with round scores of 310-299-302 for a 911. Palm Beach Atlantic won the tournament with an 852 (-12) while Barton College was the only other team under par with an 863 (-1) for a second-place finish.

Senior Arvy Shongwe led the Wildcats on Tuesday with a team tournament best 72 (E) in the third round, but it was freshman Tyler Cleaves that was the high man on the leaderboard for Wilmington.

Cleaves finished tied for fourth overall with 12 birdies for the tournament, collecting three of them on Tuesday. Starting on the back-nine, a birdie on 18 brought him back to even par for the day. He hit back-to-back birdies on holes seven and eight to again get back to even, but a bogey on the par three ninth ended his day with a 73 (+1). He finished in a tie for 22nd overall with a 221 (+5).

Shongwe got better each round, finishing with an even par round to go 80-76-72 for a 228 (+12) for the tournament. Shongwe birdied the first two holes, and was as low as three-under par after his first eight holes. Four bogeys in a six-hole stretch brought him back to one-over par, but then a birdie on the par four fourth evened his round at 72. He finished in a tie for 40th overall.

Braden McKay was steady throughout the entire tournament, shooting like rounds of 77-77-77 for a 231 (+15). On Tuesday, he hit a birdie on the par four 14th to get back to even, but made the turn at one-over par. He then collected five straight pars before a triple-bogey set his round back. He finished in a tie for 48th overall.

Ali Ladek finished the tournament in 53rd overall, posting scores of 78-75-80 for a 233 (+17). His round on Tuesday did not start as planned, as a double-bogey on his first hole set him back. He birdied the par four 13th, but another double bogey on 18 allowed him to make the turn at six-over. He had six straight pars, but a bogey on eight settled his score at 80 (+8).

Three Wildcats played as individuals and senior Jack Dixon led the trio with a 232 (+16) for the tournament. He birdied his first hole of the day on Tuesday, but a triple-bogey and three more bogeys had him at five-over at the turn. He then birdied the par five seventh, finishing at 77 (+5) and in a tie for 51st overall.

Senior Matthew Kettleson finished in a tie for 58th overall, posting scores of 79-76-82 for a 237 (+21). Nathan Potts rounded out the Wildcats on the course at the Griffin Invitational, shooting rounds of 84-85-80 for a 249 (+33).

Palm Beach Atlantic's Martin Westerlund ran away with the tournament, shooting rounds of 65-69-69 for a 203 (-13). Host Saint Leo's Alberto Castagnara finished second with a scorecard of 74-69-67 for a 210 (-6).

The Wildcats are back in action next week with the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championship. The Wildcats had a streak of eight straight titles snapped last fall, and look to make it nine out of the last 10 years when they head to Haworth, New Jersey, to compete at the White Beeches Country Club. The first round is set for Monday morning.