by Benny Benton
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College men's golf team turned in matching rounds of 302 on Tuesday to finish off a 13-shot victory in the Barton Intercollegiate sponsored by Greenlight at Wilson Country Club.
The win was the second of the season for the Bulldogs, and the first in this tournament since 2014.
"With the conditions we had this week, the scores were not that great, but we just sort of survived and hung in there the last two days," head coach Ashley Leonard said. "It's always nice to be able to pull through and get the win."
Barton completed the three rounds with a score of 903 (299-302-302) to easily out-distance the defending tourney champion, Southern New Hampshire University, which shot 916 (305-313-298). McDaniel College (Md.) made a charge with a middle round of 294, the lowest of the tournament, but finished 10 strokes behind SNHU in third at 926 (318-294-314).
The Bulldogs were led by sophomore Justin Plane, who recorded his third career top-five finish by claiming third place in the field of 70 with a score of 218 (72-74-72) that matched his 54-hole career-low.
"Obviously Justin played a heck of a tournament," Leonard said. "To shoot two-over through three rounds in these cold, windy, rainy conditions is great. I'm proud of the way he competed."
Plane was joined in the top five by junior Travis Broome, who tied for fourth at 224 (75-74-75). Broome has finished in the top 15 of his last five tournaments, two of them in the top five. Barton also received its second top-10 performance from freshman Dominic O'Brien, who tied for ninth at 228 (75-76-77).
"Travis gutted it out. Even Dom, he had it going and then slipped a little in the middle of his round, but today he was hanging in there," Leonard said. "As a freshman, he's getting lots of experience, and that's going to pay off for us down the road."
"Scott and Derek probably weren't happy with their results, but they've already done a lot for us," Leonard said. "Scott was coming off a great performance last week (tied for second). This will motivate him moving forward."
Barton's "B" team tied for fifth with a total of 932 (312-312-308). Sophomore Logan Zimarino led that group with a 231 (78-78-75) which tied for 14th. Junior Turner Garris trailed Zimarino by one shot at 232 (76-76-80) while tying for 18th, and sophomore Brandon Munford reached the top 20 with a total of 234 (80-78-76). The Bulldogs also received a 235 (78-80-77) from senior Kyle Gaster, which tied for 24th, and a 263 (93-85-85) from senior Brian Reneau, which tied for 57th.
Competing as an individual, junior Dennis Hering tied for 47th place with a 54-hole score of 247 (80-80-87).
The tournament's medalist was also participating as an individual. Nolan Mills, competing for the North Carolina State University "B" team, took top honors after rounds of 70, 71 and 70 (211) on the par-72 layout. Mills finished three shots ahead of runner-up Matt Paradise from Southern New Hampshire.
Barton will return to action in two weeks at the Bearcat Golf Classic, which will be hosted by Lander University at Greenwood Country Club in Greenwood, S.C.