Staff Report: SPORTS

After being out of action for almost a month, with its last tournament coming in a third-place finish at the Southwestern Invitational on Feb. 27, the Tennessee men’s golf team swung back into action on Sunday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, for the 27th-annual John Hayt invitational.

Tennessee would finish 10th out of a field of 15 teams, including three top 25 teams. Despite the lackluster finish, senior golfer Lorenzo Scalise would record his second straight top-five finish, finishing fifth.

The senior, who was named to the Arnold Palmer Cup team last week, finished at 211, a score registering 5-under par. This strong performance netted him his second straight, and sixth career, top five performance.

Competition took place at Sawgrass Country Club on a 6,966-yard, par-72 course, with Tennessee taking first swing at 8:25 a.m. on Sunday. The first two rounds were played on Sunday, with all 90 competitors included.

Tennessee had a very strong showing on day one, finishing eighth overall, shooting 296 and 287 in each respective round for a total score of 583. Scalise led the pack for Tennessee and led all 90 competitors when day one wrapped up.

Despite the 20 mile-per-hour winds, Scalise had a strong first round, shooting 4-under to card a 68-stroke finish. The winds would not persist, but the senior from Milan, Italy, did. He would notch an identical second round to finish 8-under with a score of 136.

Sophomore Brayden Garrison tallied another strong finish for the Vols, placing 19th after the day one action. On the back of eight total birdies and an eagle on hole 11, Garrison would finish just nine strokes behind first place at 145.

Sophomore Rhys Nevin placed tied for 40th, finishing at 148. It was Nevin’s first tournament this season, missing the last two due to injury.

Sophomore Jake Meenhorst finished the first day tied 69th at 10-over (154), and freshman Chase Roswall finished tied for 76th.

Redshirt sophomore Nolan Ray, who competed apart from the team, completed the first two rounds in 81st, stroking 159.

Tennessee teed off early in the morning at 7:45 a.m. on Monday. Despite the strong start, Tennessee trailed off slightly on the second day.

Behind Scalise, Garrison finished with his third career top-20 performance, finishing 20th with a stroke count at 217.

Nevin finished soon after Garrison, dropping to 45th after a 75-stroke third-round performance. Meenhorst slightly improved, shooting 75 in the third round as well to rise one spot to 68th place.

Rounding out Tennessee’s squad, Roswall dropped four spots to 80th following a shaky 80-stroke performance on Monday.

Individual competitor Ray was Tennessee’s biggest riser, and though his strong performance did not contribute to Tennessee’s overall score, he finished tied for 75th to end the second day, six spots up from his finish after the first day.

The Vols will next swing into action on March 31, as they travel to Augusta, Georgia for the 3M Augusta State Initational.

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