Men’s Golf: Deacons prepare for Makai Invitational

Last week, Coach Jerry Haas took his top five nationally ranked team down to Alpharetta, Ga., to compete in the U.S. Collegiate Championship with a field widely regarded as one of the strongest and deepest of any fall collegiate golf tournament.

As the tournament started on Oct. 16, five Deacs consisting of senior Davis Womble, sophomores Will Zalatoris and Paul McBride and freshmen Cameron Young and Lee Detmer set out to try and capture the team’s third overall title of the fall.

As day one wrapped up, the Deacs were positioned nicely at four under par with scores from Will Zalatoris (two-under, 70), Paul McBride (two-under, 70), Cameron Young (four-under, 68) and Davis Womble (four-over, 76). After the first day of play, Wake Forest was sitting nicely in third place.

As day two drew to a close, the Deacs took over the team lead after a three-under overall with contributing scores from Will Zalatoris (four-over, 73), Paul McBride (one-under, 71), Davis Womble (even, 72) and Cameron Young (three-under, 69).

Going into the final day of competition, the Deacs were one stroke up on Auburn for the overall lead.

Day three’s action saw a team score of two-under with individual scores being contributed by Will Zalatoris (four-under, 68), Davis Womble (three-over, 75), Cameron Young (one-over, 73) and Lee Detmer (two-under, 70).

The three days of play were good enough to give the Deacs a tie for the win with Auburn University with an overall team score of nine-under par (855) for the tournament.

There was no playoff as darkness set in. This was Wake Forest’s third victory of the fall. The last time Wake Forest won three events during the fall semester was the 1980-81 season.

Haas was impressed with his team’s play thus far. “I am really proud of these guys, three wins in four events, along with a third-place finish — that is an impressive start to the season,” Haas said.

“I know they are disappointed that it wasn’t an outright win, but it doesn’t take away from this accomplishment, especially to shoot nine-under on this golf course. We now have one more event to possibly compete the greatest semester in Wake Forest golf history.”

Young’s performance was good enough to notch the freshman’s first collegiate victory. Young was six-under (210) overall for the tournament and tied with three other players for first, including Stanford’s Maverick McNealy, Virginia’s Derek Bard and Auburn’s Will Long.

The win moved Young up to 35th nationally in the individual rankings. The Deacons have three top-40 ranked players, including Zalatoris, McBride and Young.

The Deacs currently sit as the No. 2 nationally ranked team on Golfstat as they prepare to head to Maui this next weekend to take part in the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational.

The men’s golf team will not be the only Wake Forest team to play in Maui this November. The men’s basketball team will compete in the Maui Invitational Basketball Tournament over Thanksgiving on Nov. 23-25.

The Invitational will be held from Nov. 2-4 on the island of Kauai.

Wake Forest will look to continue their hot streak in Hawaii and continue to rise in the national rankings, gaining momentum moving into the spring season.