Will Branham shoots 69 to win Pinehurst Intercollegiate

Staff Report

PINEHURST, N.C. – Senior Will Branham shot back-to-back rounds of 69 to come from behind and win the 2016 Pinehurst Intercollegiate Championship. He finished at even-par, one stroke ahead of Ball State’s Johnny Watts, and the win marks the first of his collegiate career.

Branham, a Pikeville High School graduated, started off the tournament with a four-over 75 on Friday, but his two-under 69 on Saturday put him at two-over and tied for fourth place after two rounds.

On closing Sunday, he remained in striking distance of the lead after rounding the turn at one-under. After recording a birdie on the 12th to get to two-under for the day, he had his lone bogey of the day on the 14th hole. But, he immediately responded with a birdie on the 16th to get back to two-under for the day and then closed with three straight pars to seal the tournament victory.

“I am so incredibly happy for Will (Branham),” said head coach Matthew Martin. “To finish at even-par for the tournament, on this golf course, is something special. His approach to the game right now is flawless. It was beautiful to watch.”

As a team, the Eagles finished in eighth place after shooting 44-over. They finished 15 strokes ahead of ninth place Eastern Kentucky.

Blake Cartwright shot a 14-over for the tournament (74-79-74) to finish tied for 32nd, while Logan Hogge and Thomas DeMarco finished tied for 49th at 19-over. Nick Wilkins finished one stroke back of Hogge and DeMarco at 20-over and tied for 52nd.

“As a team, we were very close to finishing near the leaders. We need to leave ourselves in some better positions. When we do that, bogey will be our worst score, as opposed to double or triple (bogies),” said Martin. “Overall, I like the way we are trending at the midpoint of our spring season.”

Matt Cholod participated as an individual and finished 17-over and tied for 44th.

The Morehead State men’s golf team next participates in the FAU Slomin Autism Invitational in Lake Worth, Fla. The tournament will take place from March 24 to 27.

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