SAVANNAH, Ga. - For the first time in the eight-year history of the AASU/Southbridge Pirate Invitational, two teams share the title as No. 8-ranked Lander made up 10 strokes on the final day to catch No. 24 Valdosta State, both teams finishing with an 895 score to capture the title.
A playoff was not competed between the two teams due to darkness. Play began on Tuesday an hour late because of a frost delay.
The Bearcats shot a final-round 298 on Tuesday, while Valdosta State carded a 308, both teams finishing the 54-hole tournament with 31-over-par 895 totals. Host Armstrong Atlantic State nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback themselves as the Pirates played their final hole of the tournament five-under-par, with seniors Justin Smith and Chris Wolfe carding eagles on the Par 5 18th hole to cap off a 298 round - leaving AASU one stroke shy of the co-champions with a 32-over-par 896 total.
Newberry shot a 901 on Tuesday to finish fourth with a 901 total, while the day's best round went to Coker, who fired a 297 to finish tied for fifth at 903 with Georgia College & State (302). Mount Olive shot 303 on Tuesday and finished seventh with a 916 total, followed by PBC schools UNC Pembroke (304) with a 919 total and Georgia Southwestern (322) with a 938 total.
Limestone finished 10th after a 310 on Tuesday with a 940 total. Queens (322) and Savannah State (308) tied for 11th with 962 totals to round out the team scoring.
The individual title had no such drama as All-American Brent Witcher of Valdosta State saved his best for last, scorching a tournament-best 68 on the final day to win going away. Witcher finished the tournament with a nine-under-par 207 total, seven strokes ahead of his closest competitor, Daniel Stanley of Newberry. Stanley carded a 70 on Tuesday to finish with a two-under-par 214 total. Wolfe's eagle on hole No. 18 gave him an even-par 72 and kept him tied for third individually with an even-par 216 total, with GCSU's Niclas Johansson, who shot a third-round 74. UNC Pembroke's Jordan Walor rounded out the individual top five, coming in with a two-over-par 218 total after a 71 on Tuesday.
Sophomore Parker Gordon shot a 78 on Tuesday and finished tied for 11th with a nine-over-par 225 total for the host Pirates, his best finish as a collegian for AASU. Freshman Matthew Motes shot a 74 and finished tied for 15th with a 227 total, while Smith's eagle on 18 gave him a final-round 74 and tied him for 22nd with a 231 total. Jon Wingate rounded out the Pirates' scoring after a final-round 78, finishing 31st with a 233 total.