OPELIKA, Ala. — WKU golfers Billy Tom Sargent and Tom Bevington made a late surge
Tuesday in the final round of Auburn’s Tiger Invitational – coming an inch away from
back-to-back hole-in-one’s – to help each tie for 12th individually in a field
loaded with top competitors.
The redshirt senior Sargent (77-70-70) went 3 under on his final nine holes, and
Bevington (73-73-71) was 2 under on his final six as both finished with 1-over 217
totals – just five strokes off the lead.
The highlight of the round was a hole-in-one by Sargent from 213 yards out on the
par-3 eighth, his second-to-last hole of the day. It was Sargent’s third lifetime
ace and his first in tournament play.
Sargent has finished in the top 20 in 4 of 6 events this season.
“The team is getting better every day, and we’re all working on our games to get
better throughout the semester,” Sargent said. “The first day we didn’t play like we
wanted in tough conditions, but we battled back the last two rounds and posted some
Bevington nearly followed Sargent with his own hole-in-one on No. 8 in the next
group, hitting the ball to the lip of the cup for a tap-in birdie, 1 of 2 for him
over the final four holes.
It’s the second straight top-20 finish for Bevington after tying for ninth at the
Mobile Sports Authority Collegiate.
Of the 11 golfers who finished ahead of Bevington and Sargent at Auburn, six are
ranked in the Golfstat Top 60. The pair finished ahead of three top-100 golfers.
“Today I didn’t feel like I played particularly well, but I managed to hang in there
and not let the round get away from me,” Bevington said. “Then almost making a
hole-in-one right after BT did was a nice bonus to get under par with a hole to go.
… We’re looking forward to the rest of the semester. We know there is a lot of room
to improve, and so we are excited about our potential to have some really high
finishes to end the year.”
As a team, WKU continued to climb in the team standings into a tie for ninth with an
890 (306-292-292) total. The Hilltoppers finished the first day in 14th place while
battling extremely windy conditions.
Of the eight teams that finished ahead of WKU, four are ranked in the Golfstat Top
25. Tenth-ranked Auburn’s “A” squad won the title at 853.
“This is a great golf course that can put you in grind mode quickly if you aren’t
sharp in every area, and that’s what happened to us early and often this week,” WKU
head coach Chan Metts said. “However, I am very proud of the grind and mental
toughness our guys showed this week. This was not our best golf, but we will
certainly take some things away from this week that will make us better moving
“Our mental toughness allowed us to have a very good finish to our final three holes
today. The round could’ve gone either way at that point, but we finished with a
grind – led by Billy Tom’s hole-in-one – that moved us up the board.”
Senior Stuart Easton shot his second straight even-par 72 to tie for 35th at 222
Redshirt junior Linus Lo carded a 234 (78-77-79), while freshman Dominic Brettkelly
finished at 241 (82-79-80).
The Hilltoppers are back in competition next week at East Carolina’s ECU
Intercollegiate on March 4-5 in Greenville, N.C.
Tiger Invitational Final Results
T12. Billy Tom Sargent (77-70-70-217)
T12. Tom Bevington (73-73-71-217)
T35. Stuart Easton (78-72-72-222)
74. Linus Lo (78-77-79-234)
T80. Dominic Brettkelly (82-79-80-241)