Ole Miss Places Sixth in Elite 14-Team Field
Published 3:00 pm Friday, April 9, 2021
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Facing a 14-team field that feature seven ranked in the top 25, the Ole Miss men’s golf team placed sixth in The Collegiate Invitational at the Country Club of Birmingham. Playing a difficult golf course and going up against elite competition, the Rebels were the leaders in par 4 scoring throughout the tournament (+13).
“There was a lot of good things to take away from this week,” said head coach Chris Malloy. “I would hope that these guys would be pretty angry that we didn’t play even better, but we weren’t far away. This was basically our first tournament of what we’ll see for postseason play, so it was a good dress rehearsal.”
The Rebels finished at 20-over par (289-290-293—872) for the 54-hole event, ahead of ranked teams such as No. 23 LSU (+22) and No. 21 Arkansas (+23). Jackson Suber led the way, tying for 15th at 3-over (71-74-71—216) for his fifth straight top-15 performance. The Tampa, Florida, native dominated the par 5s throughout the week, pacing the 81-man field in par 5 scoring (-6).
Suber’s 71 (E) was the team’s best during the final round, balancing five bogeys with five birdies. After going through a rough patch on the front nine, Suber birdied the ninth hole to get some momentum heading to the back. A smooth, downhill bunker shot from the behind the green led to another one on No. 10 for back-to-back birdies. Suber made two more birdies coming in, bouncing back to even par for the day.
Veeti Mahonen was right behind Suber with his best round of the tournament, firing a 1-over 72 (+1). The junior played bogey-free over his first 12 holes, which included a birdie at the par 3 eighth. Two bogeys on the back nine kept Mahonen out of red figures for the day, but his 72 proved to be critical in keeping Ole Miss in the top half of the leaderboard.
Jack Gnam added a 73 (+2) with the help of four birdies. He opened his round with a birdie, his lone on the front side, before adding another one at the par 5 10th. Facing a left-to-right 15-footer, Gnam found the bottom of the cup. He took advantage of the other par 5 on the back nine, reaching No. 15 in two for an easy two-putt birdie. Closing out his tournament, Gnam fired a dart at the pin on No. 18. His ball came to rest four feet past the hole, and despite facing a slippery downhill putt, Gnam knocked in the birdie to sneak into the top 25 at 6-over (76-70-73—219).
No. 4 Clemson (+2) captured the tournament title with No. 19 Tennessee claiming the runner-up spot six strokes back behind medalist Bryce Lewis (-6). The Rebels finished ahead of five SEC schools with the conference tournament on the horizon.
After playing in seven tournaments throughout the season, the Rebels finally return to Sea Island for the SEC Championship (April 21-25). With the 2020 tournament cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ole Miss and the 13 other league institutions look to finally battle for a conference crown.
For updates on the Ole Miss men’s golf team, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMGolf. Additional updates and information on the team can be found on Instagram at OleMissMGolf , on Facebook at Ole Miss Men’s Golf and on OleMissSports.com.
T15. Suber: 71-74-71—216 (+3)
T25. Gnam: 76-70-73—219 (+6)
T34. Schell: 70-72-78—220 (+7)
T50. Vongchaisit: 73-74-77—224 (+11)
T50. Mahonen: 75-77-72—224 (+11)
TEAM LEADERBOARD (Rankings: Golfstat)
1. #4 Clemson: 286-285-283—854 (+2)
2. #19 Tennessee: 286-285-289—860 (+8)
3. #22 North Florida: 283-293-287—863 (+11)
4. #10 Vanderbilt: 287-297-285—869 (+17)
5. #9 Auburn: 289-295-287—871 (+19)
6. Ole Miss: 289-290-293—872 (+20)
7. #23 LSU: 292-294-288—874 (+22)
8. #21 Arkansas: 288-289-298—875 (+23)
9. Charlotte: 289-295-292—876 (+24)
10. Virginia: 290-292-295—877 (+25)
11. UAB: 296-286-299—881 (+29)
12. Alabama: 296-299-289—884 (+32)
13. Mississippi State: 294-304-288—896 (+34)
14. Kentucky: 302-309-288—899 (+47)