Florida Tech Panthers Complete Sixth-Place Finish At Cougar Invitational In Georgia

By  //  September 22, 2015

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Travis Waninger birdied five of his first nine holes in the final round of the Cougar Invitational. (Image by Jim Hogue)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Tied for ninth entering the final round from the Country Club of Columbus, Florida Tech responded in a positive manner. Triggered by a career-best five-under 66 from Travis Waninger, the Panthers climbed the leaderboard into a respective sixth-place finish at the season-opening Cougar Invitational.

As a team, Florida Tech posted a sound one-over 285, but it was Waninger that led the charge from the get-go. The senior opened on a tear by draining five birdies on the front nine, paving the way for his first top-10 finish in Crimson and Gray. With just one bogey on the round, Waninger turned in the second lowest score of the afternoon, trailing only Saint Leo’s Ryan Gendron.

Marking back-to-back days, freshman Ali Thurlow produced another encouraging effort on the course Tuesday. Thanks to four birdies, Thurlow walked off hole 18 with an even-par 71 to slide into 20th overall. Florida Tech was one of five schools in the 16-team field to place at least two players within the top-20.

Gaelen Trew returned to form in round three, tallying 15 pars en route to a one-over 72. Just behind him, Shanren Brienen and Alex Waelchli each tied for 52nd. Entered into the tournament as an individual, Waelchli perhaps earned a crack at the five-man rotation with his final round 72.

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Rounding out the Panther lineup, Valentin Riviere notched a six-over 77 to tie for 72nd.

In come-from-behind fashion, host Columbus State carded a collective six-under 278 to fend off Lee for the tourney title.

The men’s golf team will jump back into action on Sept. 28 in Dade City, Florida for the start of the Saint Leo Invitational, the site of last year’s Regional Championship.

Team Standings Top-10
1. Columbus State (-8) 844
2. Lee (-2) 850
T3. Florida Southern (E) 852
T3. Saint Leo (E) 852
5. West Georgia (+2) 854
6. Florida Tech (+17) 869
T7. North Alabama (+18) 870
T7. Georgia Southwestern (+18) 870
9. Clayton State (+26) 878
10. Delta State (+27) 879