The Wake Forest men’s golf team has ended their regular season on an upswing headed into ACC Tournament play starting April 21.
Coming out as a top-three finisher in the last five regular season appearances, the Deacs have strong momentum going into the tournament at Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton, South Carolina.
At the end of regular season play, Wake Forest holds the No. 8 national team ranking while junior standout Will Zalatoris holds the No. 4 individual ranking spot.
On April 1 and April 2, the Demon Deacons travelled down to Augusta, Georgia where they earned the runner-up title at the 3M Augusta Invitational. ACC Player of the month, Zalatoris, finished in the individual runner-up spot shooting 10-under overall at the par-72 course to secure this position.
Another notable performance included a top-10 finish by junior Paul McBride who shot five-under overall.
Wake Forest fell to an unranked University of Central Florida squad who was seeded to finish in third place after the first two rounds of play in Augusta. However, the Knights proved they had stamina going into the final round after four out of five players finished under par during the third round, securing them a tournament victory.
Virginia Tech was the only other ACC team to compete in the tournament, finishing in the eleventh spot. On April 8 and April 9, Wake Forest men’s golf continued their strong performance streak in Kannapolis, North Carolina at the Irish Creek Intercollegiate Classic. As a team, the Deacons finished in the runner-up spot at 12-under and on the individual side, three players finished in the top-10.
Ending the season with one of his best performances, McBride shot the low round of the day and tying for fourth place overall, Zalatoris tied for eighth, and sophomore Lee Detmer tied for 10th.
A major highlight of the tournament included sophomore Kyle Sterbinsky’s hole-in-one from 198 yards. Eerily similar to the week before, Wake Forest was edged out of a victory by North Florida, a third place seed after two rounds of play.
Other ACC team results include a third place finish by Florida State at 10-under overall and UNC with a fifth place finish with two-under overall.
The Deacs’ last two regular season opportunities have illustrated the team’s ability to consistently stay in the zone headed into the ACC Tournament at the end of this month.
On a national level, Wake Forest is the highest ranking ACC team in the NCAA National Standings followed by 11th ranked Virginia, 15th ranked Clemson, 21st ranked Georgia Tech and 25th ranked Duke. North Carolina and Florida State have also received a few votes for a national ranking.
Additonlly, on Wednesday, April 11, Zalatoris was one of 10 golfers in the NCAA named as a national semifinalist for the 2017 Bob Hogan Award. This award recognizes the top overall golfer in NCAA Division I golf. On May 3, the list will be narrowed down to three finalists.