by Benny Benton
SNOW HILL, N.C. – Led by a final-round 70 from junior Justin Plane, the Barton College men's golf team moved from third place into second in the final round of the Cutter Creek Invitational at Cutter Creek Golf Club.
The 2-under par performance by Plane helped the Whitby, Canada, resident move into a three-way tie for first place at the end of 36 holes. He joined Tanner Norris of Cape Fear Community College and Liam McAnally of University of Mount Olive in a playoff, which was won by McAnally with a par on the first hole of sudden death.
The finish was Plane's fourth top-5 in a row dating back to last season and fifth in his last six starts. It was also his second playoff runner-up finish at Cutter Creek, as he lost a playoff to teammate Derek Hamm in this same tournament two years ago as a freshman. In three starts at the course, Plane has tied for first twice and fourth once.
His strong play helped the Bulldogs erase an eight-shot first-round deficit to Cape Fear. Barton also received a 74 from freshman Bryson Boyette, a 76 from sophomore Dominic O'Brien and a 77 from senior Derek Hamm in carding a team round of 297. BC dropped the fifth score of Travis Broome, an 80.
Despite a tournament-low round of 69 on Tuesday from Norris, Cape Fear was 12 shots worse on Tuesday than the first round, and the Sea Wolves ended up one shot back of Barton for the tournament at 600 (294-306).
BC's 599 was well behind tournament winner Mount Olive, who carded a two-day total of 584.
Had Barton's "B" squad been counted as a team in the standings instead of individuals, they would have actually beaten their "A" teammates by a single shot. Junior Scott Pechacek led that group with rounds of 72 and 75 for a 147 total that earned him a top-10 finish in the field of 44.
The Bulldogs had a number of strong finishes among the "B" and "C" units, particularly by freshmen. Owen Dick tied for 12th in his collegiate debut with matching rounds of 75 for a 150 total. Jared Dandy was one stroke back at 151 (74-77) in a tie for 15th place, and both Justin Poole (74-79) and Austin Schone (77-76) tied for 20th with two-day totals of 153.
Junior Brandon Munford joined Poole and Schone at 153 following rounds of 77 and 76. Junior Turner Garris placed 32nd (77-82), while freshman Tenzing Palden (84-84) and Logan Zimarino (86-82) both tied for 38th with totals of 168 to round out the Barton lineup.
Barton will return to action next Monday and Tuesday in a key early-season tournament, the Kiawah Island Invitational, which will be held at Kiawah Island Resort's Osprey Point course. The event will feature a number of the region's top teams.