Site: Estero, Fla.
Course: Old Corkscrew Golf Club (Par 72, 7,393 yards)
Tournament: Old Corkscrew Intercollegiate
HPU Team Standing: 4th of 12 teams (290-296-297-883, +19)
Top HPU Individual: Brandon Einstein, 1st (71-68-69-208, -8)
Next HPU Round: Sunday, April 18 — at Big South Championships (Ninety Six, S.C.)
ESTERO, Fla. – Redshirt sophomore Brandon Einstein fired a final-round 69 on Tuesday (April 13) to take home medalist honors at eight-under with a 208 at the Old Corkscrew Intercollegiate in Estero, Fla.
It’s the third victory of the season for Einstein, tied for the most in a single season in program history. It is also the third victory of his career, moving him into second place on HPU’s all-time wins list, just one away from Chase Wilson’s record of four. Einstein’s win marks the second year in a row that HPU has had an individual winner in the state of Florida after Brendan MacDougall won last year’s Challenge at the Concession in what was the final event of the season before the COVID-19 Pandemic halted collegiate athletics.
As a team, the Panthers finished in fourth place, marking three fourth-place finishes in the last three trips to the Sunshine state. Adam Hooker fired five birdies for a 72 in the final round to climb into the top-20 in a share of 16th place. Gregor Meyer and Christian Castillo each took home top-50 finishes, with Meyer finishing tied for 39th at 11-over and Castillo tied for 50th at +14. Drew Weary rounded out the team in a share of 71st place. Weary’s older brother Alec Weary was in action as an individual and finished one stroke behind Hooker in a tie for 20th place at seven-over after also carding five birdies en route to a 74 on Tuesday.
“It was pretty special to watch what Steiner did out there today,” head coach Brady Gregor said of his top player. “He only hit two greens on the front nine but his attitude and mental composure never changed. You could feel that the tournament was his and it was fun to watch him go out there and take it. All the guys are starting to peak at the right time and we can’t wait to get down to our favorite place to play, The Patriot.”
Einstein entered the day with a two-stroke lead at five-under and dropped those two shots on the front, taking bogeys on holes four and seven. He was lights out after the turn, carding five birdies in a seven-hole span, including four in a row from holes 11-14, to charge back into the red numbers with a 69 to finish the tournament at 208 and win by one stroke.
His 208 is tied for the eighth-lowest 54-hole score in program history and is one of just 13 sub-210 tournaments in team history. Einstein was the only golfer under par in all three rounds and has now had 16 rounds of par or better this season (out of 22), which is tied for the most such rounds in a single season in program history. He’s also just the second HPU golfer to have more than 10 rounds of par or better out of less than 25 rounds played in a single season. Einstein’s five birdies on the back nine on Tuesday gave him 14 in the event, the most among the field by two. He now has 237 in his career, the fourth-most in school history and 48 away from matching current teammate Alec Weary in third place.
Hooker started his final round in 31st place at six-over and took two bogeys in his first three holes of the day to fall to +8. He rebounded nicely with a birdie on four and another on nine to make the turn at even in the round. Hooker got to red numbers with a birdie on 11 before dropping two shots with a bogey on 13. Those two shots were quickly regained with back-to-back birdies on the next two holes before a final bogey on 18 ended his day with a 72.
Meyer only had two birdies on the day, picking up one on each nine and just four holes apart. He bogeyed three of his first seven holes before finding his first birdie of the day on the par-5 eighth. He made the turn two-over and dropped another shot on 10 before another birdie on the par-5 11th, followed by a double and a bogey on 14 and 15 to take a 77 in the final round.
Castillo and Drew Weary each only had one birdie on their cards, coming on opposite ends of their rounds. Castillo birdied his second hole of the day but couldn’t get back into the red numbers after that, taking a double and three straight bogeys on the way to an 81 on the day. Weary started slow with two doubles on the front and four bogeys in his first five holes on the back before ending his round on a high note with a birdie on 18 for a 79.
The elder Weary had an eventful final round as an individual, taking just six pars in the entire round. Only one came on the front as he took six bogeys, broken into three sets of two consecutive bogeys, and carded two birdies to take a 40 on the first nine holes. He only had one bogey on the back and picked up three more birdies for his 74 and a top-20 finish.
High Point can now focus on the Big South Championships at The Patriot Golf Course at Grand Harbor next week. The Championship begins with three days of stroke play from April 18-20 before the top four teams advance to the match-play semifinals and championship on April 21.