By Peyton Gray, Sports Editor-
The Chattanooga Mocs men’s golf team ended the regular season Tuesday with a fifth-place finish at the Mountaineer Invitational in West Virginia.
Freshman transfer from Utah State, Gabe Hunter, led the Mocs by carding a 74 in the opening round of the 36-hole first day. Connor Nolan followed with a 75; Matt Smith recorded a 76; A.J. Lintunen contributed with a 77, and Alex Cobb and Paul Conroy trailed with a 78 and 79, giving the Mocs a solid 302 after the first 18.
The afternoon 18 saw a slightly better Chattanooga team.
A.J. Lintunen dropped five strokes from his morning score — he turned in an even-par 72. Gabe Hunter stayed consistent with another 74. Conroy and Smith carded 76 and 77 while Nolan and Cobb recorded 80 and 82.
The Mocs turned in a 299 for the afternoon. This first-day 36-hole combined score of 601 placed UTC in third place — trailing only Southern Miss (589) and West Virginia (592).
Additionally, Chattanooga had two players in the top 10 after the first day. Hunter was tied for sixth with a combined score of 4 over with Lintunen not far behind in the ninth-place spot with a score of 5 over.
Though they dropped two places, Chattanooga remained consistent on the final day of the tournament. They posted another score of 299 — giving them a 54-hole total of 900.
Gabe Hunter led the way once again with a team-low 71. A.J. Lintunen and Matt Smith both carded a 75; Paul Conroy recorded a 78 with Connor Nolan and Alex Cobb dropping an 84.
In the end, host West Virginia came through with the victory. They dominated the final round with a score of 281. This gave them an easy 12 stroke victory.
Though UTC dropped two spots on the final day, they still have much to boast about.
Gabe Hunter finished tied for third overall. With a score of 74 in the first two rounds of play and a final round of 1-under 71, he posted a team-best 3-over 219 for the tournament.
His teammates weren’t far behind. Lintunen tied for 13th with a solid 224 and Smith finished the tournament tied for 25th.
This is exactly how the Mocs wanted to play given the fact that the SoCon Tournament begins Monday, April 19. The Mocs are joined by seven other schools at Reynolds Lake Oconee.