After this weekend in Statesboro, Georgia, it is clear that the Wake Forest men’s golf team has regained its pre-winter break form. Led by freshman Cameron Young, the team finished second out of 14 teams at the Schenkel Invitational — likely their most competitive tournament all year before postseason play.
Young, thanks to three exceptional rounds of golf, finished 12 under par and tied for third individually, only one stroke behind the co-leaders.
Unlike many of the other golfers, Young played consistent golf the entire weekend shooting 68 (-4), 67 (-5) and 69 (-3), respectively. This was a much needed return to form for Young after finishing 17 over par at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate tournament a month ago.
With Querencia behind him and his performance in Statesboro, Young has solidified himself as a threat to other teams, despite his age.
Behind Young’s performance, the rest of the men’s golf team played remarkably well and were able to edge out Kentucky and North Carolina State by six strokes for sole possession of second place.
Finishing only four strokes behind Young, senior Davis Womble started the tournament red hot. He shot a 64 (-8), which was good for the second-lowest round of the weekend. After cooling off, Womble shot 70 (-2) and 74 (+2), respectively, to finish off the weekend tied for 10th place at eight under par.
The remaining trio of sophomore Will Zalatoris, sophomore Paul McBride and freshman Kyle Sterbinsky all finished the weekend under par and individually finished 25th, 34th and 42nd, respectively.
Over the course of the weekend, no team ever took a commanding lead, making for an exciting finish. After Friday and Saturday, eight of the 14 teams were within 10 strokes of the lead with the Demon Deacons tied with Vanderbilt and only one stroke behind the co-leaders Auburn, Georgia State and Alabama.
On Sunday, the Deacs rose to the occasion and finished nine under par for the day, catapulting them to sole possession of second place. Had it not been for a tournament best round of 63 (-9) by Vanderbilt’s Will Gordon, Wake Forest may have taken home the title.
This was a much needed boost for the Demon Deacons after suffering a season-worst 14th place finish at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate at the end of February.
Following their only poor showing of the season, the Deacs dropped from second in the country to 13th, falling behind ACC rivals Florida State and Clemson. With their quick rebound in Statesboro however, Wake Forest regained some ground on Florida State and passed Clemson for the 10th best team in the country.
The Demon Deacons only have two tournaments left before the ACC Championships starts on April 22nd. With momentum on their side, the Deacs hope for continued success at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate and the Irish Creek Collegiate in the coming weeks.
If they regain their dominance from last semester, an NCAA Championship would not be out of the question this year.