(gomocs.com) LAKE HARTWELL, Ga.—The last time the Chattanooga Mocs won a tournament, it was a pretty similar situation… clean sweep. The Mocs captured the team crown at the J.T. Posten Invitational while A.J. Lintunen claimed his first collegiate title.
The squad shot 6-under 278 today en route to their first title since the 2018 Memphis Intercollegiate. That win’s exclamation point was Oliver Simonsen’s school-record performance winning medalist. Lintunen didn’t break that record, but he was impressive in spear-heading the win setting new career lows for 18 (65), 36 (136) and 54-hole (207) score.
His journey overcoming injuries with just 39 rounds over his previous three years makes the win that much better. It’s his second top 5 in as many starts in 2020-21. He got the win under pressure from Simonsen.
“He has battled through so many things,” Coach Mark Guhne shared. “He’s a great young man. Good student, does everything right and is great teammate. It was fun watching him and Oliver battle it out coming down the stretch. The way they rooted for each other and encouraged each other while competing for the win was fun to follow.
“It’s great seeing him get a win. He’s worked so hard to get there. It’ll mean a lot for him moving forward.”
The Mocs ended up with the third-best 54-hole total in school history at 835 (-17). It’s the best score tallied outside the Chattanooga city limits and top number since 45-under 819 winning the 2008 Aldila Scenic City Invite at Council Fire Golf Club.
Today’s 278 was led by Matt Smith’s 68 which tied his career best. Simonsen added 69 followed by Connor Nolan’s 70 and Lintunen’s 71. Dominic Jones and Leon Bader had the drop scores with 73 and 77, respectively.
Lintunen’s 207 total was one better than Simonsen who tied for second. Smith was fifth at 211 (-2) with Nolan one behind tied for sixth at 1 under. Jones finished 17th as Bader ended up 23rd.
“With the protocols to protect teams from each other, we get to play together in two groups,” Guhne added. “We got to play together, encouraging and cheering for each other…it’s a lot of fun. When one guy gets going, the rest of the team feeds off it.
“Everybody contributed which made it that much sweeter a win.”
It was an impressive display by the Mocs. The squad sat in third at 1 under after 18 holes before scorching Cateechee Golf Club with a 10-under 274 in round two. Today’s 278 made it all 54 holes played par or better. The last time that happened for the blue and gold was winning the 2018 Memphis Intercollegiate with a 13-under 851. It’s the best tourney total since 14-under 838 last year at Cal’s Alister Mackenzie Invitational.
J.T. Poston Invitational
Sept. 27-29 | Lake Hartwell, Ga. | Cateechee Golf Course | Par 71 | 6,570 Yards
Team: 283-274-278=835 (-17)
1) A.J. Lintunen: 71-65-71=207 (-6)
T2) Oliver Simonsen: 70-69-69=208 (-5)
5) Matt Smith: 72-71-68=211 (-2)
T6) Connor Nolan: 70-72-70=212 (-1)
17) Dominic Jones: 75-69-73=217 (+4)
23) Leon Bader: 72-74-77=223 (+10)
34) Moritz Lammel (Ind): 73-78-84=235 (+22)
3 Notes to Know
– The Mocs not only finished par or better, but they were never over par. The team score was even through 17. Simonsen’s birdie on 18 Sunday made it 1 under. They shot to 9 under after three yesterday propelling their way up the leaderboard.
– The 16-shot victory is the largest since winning the 2012 Southern Conference title by 19 over Georgia Southern. It’s the 28th title in school history.
– Lintunen is the 23rd individual winner for the Mocs.