by Benny Benton
GREENWOOD, S.C. – The Barton College men's golf team produced one of its top five rounds of the year on Tuesday in the Bearcat Golf Classic and jumped six spots in the final standings of the 18-team event from 14th into a tie for eighth.
Barton combined for a total of 4-over par 292 on the 6,800-yard, par-72 layout at Greenwood Country Club. The round tied for the third-best of the day, and was BC's fourth-best of the season in both total score and relation to par.
The charge helped the Bulldogs surpass league members Erskine College and Belmont Abbey College, among others, and emerge as the best of five Conference Carolinas programs over the 54-hole event at 899 (301-306-292).
Junior Travis Broome and sophomore Scott Pechacek led the Bulldogs in the final round, both posting scores of 1-under par 71. They were joined by sophomore Justin Plane, who carded a 74, and junior Derek Hamm, who added a 76. Junior Turner Garris also shot a 76, but his round was later disqualified.
Plane's 74 capped a strong tournament for the Whitby, Canada, resident in which he posted a 54-hole career-low of 217 (71-72-74) while tying for third in the 93 player field. The finish was his third top-three showing in his past four tournaments.
With his final-round 71, Broome leaped from 33rd place into a tie for 13th at 221 (74-76-71), and in doing so extended his streak of top-15 finishes to six tournaments in a row.
Pechacek also made a significant move forward with his 71, jumping from 87th into a tie for 65th at 233 (81-81-71). Hamm improved nine positions following his 76, moving from a tie for 88th into a tie for 79th at 239 (77-86-76).
Host Lander University claimed the team victory with rounds of 295, 289 and 287 for an 871 total. Newberry College was second at 878, followed in third by Georgia College at 883.
Lander's Michael Pospisil, ranked No. 19 nationally in NCAA Division II by Golfstat, cruised to a nine-stroke victory on rounds of 70, 67 and 70 (207). Anderson University's Weston Bell was runner-up at 216, with Plane, Anderson's Jake Miller and Belmont Abbey's Nick Stafford all one stroke back in the tie for third at 217.
Barton will return to action on April 10 and 11 in The Trojan, hosted by University of Mount Olive in Goldsboro, N.C.