KENNESAW, Ga. — On the first playoff hole Tuesday, WKU’s Billy Tom Sargent almost
hit his tee shot out of bounds.
But there was no stopping the Hilltopper Golf redshirt senior on this day.
Sargent stormed to victory at Kennesaw State’s Pinetree Intercollegiate with a
7-under 65, then claimed outright individual medalist honors by salvaging par on the
opening playoff hole after the wayward tee shot.
The win is the fourth career victory for Sargent, who dedicated it to former WKU
coach Phillip Hatchett after his passing in June.
“I went to the playoff and hit the worst tee shot of the tournament,” Sargent said.
“I had 230 yards into the green and hit a low hook 4 iron to the right side of the
green and two-putted for par. I’m always playing for Coach (Hatchett) and I know he
was there with me today in the playoff. We all miss him, but we’ll always be playing
Sargent’s four wins tied for the second-most by a Hilltopper since 1980, and they’re
the most since Brent Long won five tournaments from 2005-08. He’s won at least one
tournament each of the last three seasons.
The Georgetown, Ky., native entered the day in seventh place and behind senior
teammate Stuart Easton, who led the field after two rounds and eventually placed
Sargent finished the tournament with a season-low 208 (73-70-65) total. His final
round included seven birdies, an eagle and two bogeys.
“Yesterday I putted really well which helped me stay in the hunt,” Sargent said. “My
irons and wedges weren’t great yesterday, but I putted really well. Today I just had
the mindset of playing solid and sticking to my game plan which I felt really
WKU entered Tuesday with the team lead as well after carding a second-round 276, its
best score in 12 years, but settled for third place with an 863 (294-276-293) mark.
The Hilltoppers were just six strokes behind champion Wisconsin and one behind host
Kennesaw State (No. 50 in nation).
Easton tied his career-best finish in third place with a 210 (71-65-74), just one
shot off his career low. Redshirt junior Linus Lo tied for 16th at 220 (75-69-76).
Sophomore Crimson Callahan tied for 38th at 228 (75-72-81), and junior Tom Bevington
was one shot back at 229 (76-75-78).
“I think we battled some nerves early on, but that’s the nature of our game,” WKU
head coach Chan Metts said. “The most important thing to do is to understand we
played very well in order to put ourselves in the position to battle those nerves.
We also have to make sure we learned a lot from what happened today and make sure we
use that in our preparation for next time we are in this position.”
The Kennesaw State event concluded a fall season for WKU that was shortened to four
tournaments because of having one outing canceled by heavy rain.
The Hilltoppers registered eight top-20 individual finishes this fall and finished
under par in three of four events. They finished under par in just two events all
The team also registered three rounds of 277 or better after previously failing to
reach that mark since 2008. WKU will return to the course at South Alabama’s Mobile
Sports Authority Intercollegiate on Feb. 11-12 in Mobile, Ala.
“Overall I’m very pleased with our fall,” Metts said. “It has been a learning
process for the team and myself as we had a transition to make on the fly. The guys
have handled that task extremely well and I am proud of the maturity they showed. We
certainly have some things we know we need to improve on heading into the spring,
but there are plenty of positives for us to focus on. We will be a hungry team in
Pinetree Intercollegiate Final Results
T1. Billy Tom Sargent (73-70-65-208)*
3. Stuart Easton (71-65-74-210)
T16. Linus Lo (75-69-76-220)
T38. Crimson Callahan (75-72-81-228)
T44. Tom Bevington (76-75-78-229)
* won individual title in playoff