Jolly Runner-Up, Tigers Fourth at Valspar Invite
PALM CITY, Fla. – Junior All-America candidate Stewart Jolly continued a brilliant 2014 spring season by finishing runner-up on the final leaderboard at the Valspar Invitational at Floridian while leading LSU to a fourth-place team finish in the 15-team field following Tuesday’s final round in the event held this week at Floridian Golf Club.
The Tigers followed back-to-back team rounds of 6-under par 278 on Monday with a 7-over par 291 on Tuesday to finish 10 shots off the pace at 5-under par 847 during this year’s championship.
No. 4-ranked Georgia Tech was the only team in the field to break par in the final round as the Yellow Jackets fired a 1-under par 283 to take home the team title by eight shots with a winning total of 15-under 837. No. 3-ranked Oklahoma State finished runner-up at 7-under 845, while No. 21-ranked Texas A&M took third at 6-under 846 and No. 19-ranked Arkansas and SMU tied for fifth place at 4-under 848.
Jolly capped the championship with a team-best 1-under par 70 in the final round to finish just two shots off the top of the leaderboard with a career-low 54-hole score of 10-under par 203. It is his third-straight top-10 finish this spring as he broke par for the fifth-straight round dating back to the second round of the Louisiana Classics in his last tournament appearance.
Jolly finished the day right where he started at two shots behind the leader after firing rounds of 5-under par 66 in the first round and 4-under par 67 in the second round on Monday.
Georgia Tech’s Ollie Schniederjans emerged as the individual champion after firing his third-straight round of 4-under 67 for a winning 54-hole score of 12-under 201 to wrap up the championship two shots clear of Jolly in second place. Florida State’s Jack Maguire, who teed off with a two-shot lead after Monday’s action, posted a 2-over 73 in the final round to tie Texas A&M’s Andrew Lister for third place at 9-under 204.
A native of Birmingham, Ala., Jolly smashed his previous career-best tournament score that he had set twice before and most recently when he shared the individual title at the 2013 Golfweek Conference Challenge at Spirit Hollow Golf Club in Burlington, Iowa, back in the fall season. He now leads the team with three top-five and five top-10 finishes in his eight tournament appearances this season.
It continues an All-America caliber season as Jolly now drops his team-leading scoring average to a career-best 71.04 strokes per round in his eight starts for the Tigers in 2013-14.
Jolly was the only Tiger to break par in the final round as junior Curtis Thompson carded a 1-over 72, senior Smylie Kaufman posted a 2-over 74 and junior Ben Taylor added a 3-over 75 toward LSU’s team total.
Thompson tied for 24th place in the final leaderboard with a 54-hole score of even-par 213, followed by Kaufman in a tie for 30th place at 2-over par 215 and Taylor in a tie for 36th place at 4-over par 217. Sophomore Zach Wright added a 7-over 78 in Tuesday’s final round to finish the championship in 69th place at 14-over par 227.
With the Valspar Invitational at Floridian now in the books, the Tigers will wrap up the regular season April 5-6 with their trip to Bryan, Texas, to compete at the Aggie Invitational hosted by Texas A&M at Traditions Golf Club. They will then kick off the championship season at the 2014 SEC Men’s Golf Championships that return to the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga., from April 25-27.
VALSPAR INVITATIONAL AT FLORIDIAN – FINAL ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 852)
1. Georgia Tech 274-280-283 – 837 -15; 2. Oklahoma State 273-281-291 – 845 -7; 3. Texas A&M 277-285-284 – 846 -6; 4. LSU 278-278-291 – 847 -5; T5. Arkansas 283-286-279 – 848 -4; T5. SMU 275-282-291 – 848 -4; T7. Florida State 282-279-290 – 851 -1; T7. Houston 276-290-285 – 851 -1; 9. Illinois 276-282-296 – 854 +2; 10. Tennessee 280-282-295 – 857 +5; 11. UCLA 283-278-297 – 858 +6; 12. South Florida 285-280-299 – 864 +12; 13. Kent State 283-285-297 – 865 +13; 14. Florida 281-290-297 – 868 +16; 15. Lamar 299-288-311 – 898 +46.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 213)
1. Ollie Schniederjans, Georgia Tech, 67-67-67 – 201 -12; 2. Stewart Jolly, LSU, 66-67-70 – 203 -10; T3. Andrew Lister, Texas A&M, 68-67-69 – 204 -9; T3. Jack Maguire, Florida State, 65-66-73 – 204 -9; 5. Bryson Dechambeau, SMU, 67-72-69 – 208 -5; T6. JD Tomlinson, Florida, 68-67-74 – 209 -4; T6. Austin Smotherman, SMU, 68-69-72 – 209 -4; T6. Chase Koepka, South Florida, 68-67-74 – 209 -4; T6. Taylor Pendrith, Kent State, 72-67-70 – 209 -4; T10. Richard Donegan, Florida, 69-69-72 – 210 -3; T10. Talor Gooch, Oklahoma State, 69-72-69 – 210 -3; T10. Kevin Dougherty, Oklahoma State, 70-66-74 – 210 -3; T10. Adria Arnaus, Texas A&M, 67-73-70 – 210 -3.