The Tennessee men’s golf team won the Inverness Intercollegiate in Toledo, Ohio on Monday, as the Vols defeated a twelve team field and won by seven strokes.
The win was the Vols’ second in as many attempts this year, as they won the Carpet Capital Collegiate early this month against a loaded field. This marked the first time in program history that Tennessee has opened the year with back-to-back wins.
Unlike the Carpet Capital Collegiate, Tennessee came in as one of the favorites this week, and had to deal with expectations they had not had in a while.
"Expectations are a great thing to have and learning to deal with them is a huge part of becoming a great team,” first year head coach Brennan Webb said. “Coming here expecting to win and then backing it up was a huge step for us."
Tennessee led wire-to-wire in Toledo, including overcoming poor weather on Monday that forced the Vols to finish round two on Tuesday morning.
"They just had the mindset that they were going to put their heads down and just play and trust that their best was going to be good enough,” Webb said. “We started the day preparing for all 54 holes to be completed and despite what the forecast looked like we somehow got it in."
Tennessee entered the third round with a nine stroke lead that at one point extended to fifteen before finishing at 12-over-par, seven strokes ahead of Virginia and San Francisco, who tied for second.
Despite not being in the Vols’ lineup, Spencer Cross turned in Tennessee’s lowest score, shooting 2-over-par and tying for third. The strong performance was the best of the sophomore’s career.
"Spencer is a great player and his play this week does not surprise me at all,” Webb said. He has played very well in qualifying at home this semester. He is going to be a huge part of our program going forward and will compete for championships like the ones he won in high school and junior golf."
Hunter Wolcott and Tyler Johnson led the Vols’ lineup, as they each turned in a 3-over-par score for the week, tying for fourth place.
Johnson, a redshirt sophomore, spent his first three years at Middle Tennessee State University, where he won C-USA player of the year before transferring to Tennessee this summer when Webb took over in Knoxville.
All five players in Tennessee’s lineup performed strongly and placed in the top 25.
Next up for the Vols is a trip to Carrollton, Texas, where they will compete in the Maridoe Intercollegiate from Oct. 6-8.