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Third Round Charge Falls Short as WilmU Golf Finishes Second at CACC Championships; Tyler Cleaves Also Finishes Second Overall

Photo by the CACC's Ellen O'Brien
Photo by the CACC's Ellen O'Brien

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WATERTOWN, Conn. - - A furious third round comeback fell narrowly short for the Wilmington University golf team as it finished second at the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championship on Tuesday, hosted by Post at the Watertown Golf Club.

Trailing Goldey-Beacom by 20 strokes heading into Tuesday's final round, the Wildcats shot a 295 to get back into the thick of the race, but couldn't complete the comeback as the Lightning won by six strokes. The Wildcats finished the tournament with rounds of 309-299-295 for a 903 (+51).

Tyler Cleaves was in medal contention once again as he and Goldey-Beacom's Mason Kucy battled down the stretch. Cleaves sank his second shot on the par four 11th for an eagle to get back to even par on the day and get to within two strokes of Kucy. Kucy went double-bogey, bogey, bogey through holes 14, 15, and 16 while Cleaves sank par putts on all three, moving Cleaves into the lead by one stroke with two holes to play. But Cleaves bogeyed the par four 17th and par four 18th while Kucy hit par putts on each to reclaim the lead and ultimately win the CACC Individual Championship by one stroke.

Cleaves shot rounds of 74-71-74 for a 219 (+6) to lead the Wildcats to a second place finish. Mason Kucy won individual honors with rounds of 69-73-76 to finish at 218 (+5). Tyler Cleaves led the tournament with 40 pars, seven more than the next student-athlete. He also tied Kucy on all par four scoring holes, averaging 4.12 strokes per par four, finishing at four-over par. Cleaves was also tied atop the leader on all par three holes, finishing at two-over par on the short holes.

Pablo Quintero moved up nine spots on the leaderboard with a 74 on Tuesday, finishing in a tie for 11th overall. He improved each round, shooting scores of 82-77-74 for a 233 (+20). He finished Tuesday with 13 pars, one birdie, and four bogeys to shoot three-over par. He tied with teammate Nathan Potts and sixth in the tournament on par five scoring, finishing the three rounds at two-under par.

Matthew Pulgini shot the best round of any competitor on Tuesday with a 72 (+1), helping lead the Wildcat comeback up the leaderboard. After a double-bogey to start his round on the first hole, he answered with 11 consecutive pars before another bogey on the 13th hole. But he recovered with back-to-back birdies on the par three 15th and par five 16th to get his round back to one-over par.

Blake Ramirez moved up five spots in the standings with a 75 (+4) on Tuesday, finishing in 19th place overall with a 237 (+24). He improved every round with scored of 83-79-75 for his 237. He birdied the par three fourth to get to one-under on Tuesday, but then three consecutive bogeys saw him make the turn at two-over. He finished with seven pars on the back nine. Ramirez had 27 pars in the tournament and finished tied for sixth in the tournament on par three scoring at four-over par.

Nathan Potts finished tied for 16th at the CACC Championship with a 235 (+22). He posted scored of 77-72-86 to get to his score of 235. Potts was tied for second in the tournament on par three scoring at four-over par and tied for sixth on par five scoring as well, finishing at two-under par. Potts led the Wildcats with seven birdies in the three rounds.

Post finished third with a 908 (+56) team scored while Dominican was fourth overall with a 927 (+75). Goldey-Beacom earned the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA East/Atlantic Super Regional Tournament in May while the Wildcats will now have to play well the rest of Fall and Spring to earn an at-large bid into the postseason.

The Wildcats have two tournaments remaining in the fall season and head right back to Watertown Golf Club for the Post University Invitational next week. The two-day tournament starts on Monday, October 10.