Men's Golf Shoots School Record to Win The Hootie
March 27, 2018


– Entering the final round trailing by six shots, the Ole Miss men’s golf team fired a school-record 269 (-19) to overcome the deficit and capture the 2018 Hootie at Bulls Bay. The Rebels used their best 18 holes in program history to finish the tournament at 23-under (281-291-269—841) and best runner-up Kent State by one stroke.

The 19-under round was the best by any in the 15-team field throughout three days of play. Ole Miss also broke a 17-year old school record by three strokes. The 269 dethroned the 272 the Rebels shot at the 2001 Gator Invitational. 

With the win, its first of the spring and sixth over the last two seasons, Ole Miss defeated a field that included seven teams ranked in Golfstat’s top 50 national rankings as well as four SEC squads. The Rebels dominated the par 5s, going 21-under on the lengthy holes. Ole Miss also recorded four eagles as a team to pace the tournament.

Not only did Ole Miss take home the hardware as a team, but a Rebel also claimed medalist honors. With a 6-under 66 in the final round, junior Braden Thornberry earned a two-shot victory with a 54-hole total of 13-under par (68-69-66—203). The individual win was the 10th of Thornberry’s career, making him the only golfer in Ole Miss history to reach double digits in victories, and his three-round 203 tied the third-lowest 54-hole total ever by a Rebel. The defending national champion collected his third win of the season, recording seven birdies and only one bogey throughout his final round. Coming down the stretch and battling at the top of the leaderboard, Thornberry birdied four of the final seven holes to shoot a 31 on the back nine and sign for a 66 (-6).

Redshirt-junior Josh Seiple used a pair of eagles on the front nine to lead to a final-round 68 (-4). He began his day like Thornberry did yesterday, holing out for eagle on the par-4 first. After consecutive pars, Seiple eagled the par-5, 608-yard fourth to get to 4-under through the first four holes. The Castle Rock, Colorado, native played the last 14 holes at level par, including parring every single hole on the back nine. His 54-hole total of 211 (73-70-68) inched him into the top 10 as he tied for eighth, the best finish of his Ole Miss career.

Joining Thornberry and Seiple in the top 10 was Cecil Wegener. The two-time SEC Freshman of the Week continued to impress as he placed 10th with a three-round total of 4-under 212 (69-76-67), a personal best. His final-round 67 (-5) was a career low that featured six birdies and just one miscue, a bogey on the par-3 12th. The 10th place finish was Wegener’s first time cracking the top 10 in a collegiate tournament.

Senior Kerry Sweeney also went low on the final day of play, firing a 4-under 68 to finish in a tie for 27th at 1-over (71-78-68—217). He began his round going par-birdie-bogey before tallying five birdies and five pars over the next 10 holes. Sweeney added another birdie on the par-3 17th, the only Rebel to record a deuce on that hole throughout the entire tournament.

Although his score didn’t count towards the team total, Beau Briggs produced an under-par round of his own. The junior improved each day, and his final round of 71 (-1) boosted him up the standings.

Ole Miss will look to take its winning momentum to its next destination, Gastonia, North Carolina. There, the Rebel will participate in the Gary Koch Intercollegiate (April 9-10). One week later (April 16-17), Ole Miss returns to the Magnolia State for the Old Waverly Intercollegiate in West Point. Those two tournaments will wrap up play prior to the SEC Championships (April 25-29).

Malloy’s Minute
“I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of this group,” said head coach Chris Malloy. “We didn’t finish yesterday’s round like we wanted, and they let that fuel their fire today. We got off to a great start and road that wave of momentum throughout the round.”

Ole Miss Results
1. Braden Thornberry 68-69-66—203 (-13)
T8. Josh Seiple 73-70-68—211 (-5)
T10. Cecil Wegener 69-76-67—212 (-4)
T27. Kerry Sweeney 71-78-68—217 (+1)
T59. Beau Briggs 77-76-71—224 (+8)

Team Standings (GolfStat rankings top 50)
1. #41 Ole Miss 281-291-269—841 (-23)
2. #34 Kent State 281-285-276—842 (-22)
3. #31 Kentucky 281-287-276—844 (-20)
4. Iowa State 281-290-284—855 (-9)
5. #43 Missouri 278-299-279—856 (-8)
T6. Wisconsin 289-292-277—858 (-6)
T6. #9 Auburn 287-300-271—858 (-6)
8. #36 N.C. State 288-298-274—860 (-4)
9. #37 South Carolina 288-301-278—867 (+3)
10. College of Charleston 289-301-278—868 (+4)
11. #42 Louisville 290-306-283—879 (+15)
T12. Georgia State 285-308-287—880 (+16)
T12.Eastern Kentucky 296-306-278—880 (+16)
14. Georgia Southern 299-302-291—892 (+28)
15. Wofford 306-312-290—908 (+44)

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