By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
JACKSON, Tenn. – There was no comeback. There was no drama. At the end of the Grover Page Classic, there was just one winner; Tennessee Tech. The Golden Eagle golf team captured the tournament title at Jackson Country Club Tuesday afternoon, with sophomore Bracton Womack taking home individual medalist honors for the first time in his young career.
The tournament title marks the second for the Tech men's team under head coach Polk Brown, and the first since winning the Big Blue Intercollegiate at Hermitage Golf Club in the spring of 2015.
Heading into the third and final round with a four-stroke lead, the Golden Eagles did exactly what was needed to claim the event for the purple and gold. Tech turned in a 289 on Tuesday, actually increasing its lead to six shots before the end of the day. In all, the team's final score was an 876 (294-293-289), besting host UT Martin's 882.
Womack (left) was the leader on the links on his way to becoming the first individual medalist from the Tech's men's golf team since 2007. John Fox won the title at the Skyhawk Classic in Buchanan, Tenn. while current PGA Tour pro and TTU Sports Hall of Famer Scott Stallings earned first-place honors at the Grover Page Classic.
The sophomore joined the elite fraternity of Tech men's golfers to win tournament medalist honors, becoming the 29th different Golden Eagle to do so. He also became the first men's golfer under the direction of Coach Brown to earn outright medalist honors.
A native of McMinnville, Womack fired his second straight round of 71 in round three, completing the tournament 2-under with a 214 to tie his career-low set earlier in the fall. He led the tournament field of 65 golfers with 14 birdies throughout the event, three more than the next highest total.
Junior Cameron Yeary concluded Tuesday with a 1-over 73, completing a season-low 221 for all three rounds. He tied for fifth overall in the event, matching the effort of fellow junior Dabney Dickenson, who also posted a 221. Dickenson, who competed as an individual, shot a 76 for the second straight round after kicking off the event with a 3-under 69.
Freshman Bryce Beeler followed immediately behind his teammates, tying for eighth place after finishing with a score of 222. Beeler put forth his best showing of the tournament, shooting even-par after rounds of 74 and 76. Next, just one shot back of Beeler, was sophomore Will Brooks. The Cookeville native also performed at his best on Tuesday, carding a personal-low 73 for the tournament to go along with scores of 74 and 76 on Monday for a final mark of 223.
Ranking next on the leaderboard for the purple and gold was senior veteran Matthew Giles, who tied for 12th behind a 224. He distributed rounds of 74, 74 and 76 to the Tech effort in securing the tournament title.
A pair of rookies, Cade Puryear and Chance Taylor, rounded out the participants for the Golden Eagles, each tying for 27th with scores of 230. Completing his first collegiate event, Puryear matched his second-round showing of 75 with another 3-over total on Tuesday. Taylor rebounded from an 82 in the second round to post his second 2-over 74 of the tournament.
The Golden Eagles will now focus on making it back-to-back wins when they head to Sevierville to host the Seventh Annual Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate at Sevierville Golf Club. The three-day event will kick off Sunday, Mar. 17 and run through Tuesday, Mar. 19.
Photos by Jake Rogers, UT Martin Sports Information