Photo and Story provided by Florida State Golf Association
West Palm Beach, Fla. – Team Florida brings home the 19th Southeastern Challenge, led by Will Davenport (5-0-0) and Scott Turner (4-1-0). With the win this week, Florida becomes the first team in Southeastern Challenge history to reach ten wins, two more than Georgia.
Starting with the first match, Joe Alfieri and Miles McConnell took on Shaw Pritchett and Chris Hummel. In a match that was led most of the time by Alfieri and McConnell, a last minute charge led to Alabama making birdie on the 17th hole to square it. On the 18th, McConnell found trouble off of the tee, forcing Alfieri to step up. A poor wedge shot short sided him, but a great up-and-down save for par led to a halved match.
Will Davenport and Scott Turner battled it out with Daniel Burns and Hunter Hawkins of Alabama, and wound up coming out on top with a final score of 1 up. In a match that never saw a lead of more than 1 up, Davenport and Turner were able to secure a point for Florida, their first of many for the weekend.
Lastly, Richard Donegan and Joey Latowski finished their match tied after what could have been a devastating loss to Team Georgia. A very clutch birdie by Latowski after an iron shot to within 10 feet on the last won them the hole and tied the match.
After the morning, players grabbed lunch and went right back out to play in their foursomes matches. With Team Alabama holding a small lead over Team Florida, it was anybody’s ball game with a lot of golf left to play.
Highlighting the afternoon foursomes session were Will Davenport and Scott Turner defeated both Blake Watts and Will McCurdy of Team Alabama and and Team Georgia. On the last hole, Davenport was left with an iron shot after a drive into the fairway from Turner, and he did not disappoint, leaving a birdie putt for Turner from about 12 feet. After hanging on the lip, the putt dropped, not only giving them the win against Alabama, but providing some much needed momentum heading into singles matches.
Keenan and McConnell found fire against Georgia and Alabama, with dominating victories against both teams. They defeated both Alabama and Georgia 5&4, leaving them plenty of time to go support their teammates.
With a small lead over both Team Georgia and Alabama and a lot of points to be had on the final day, it was anybody’s trophy to bring home.
Team Alabama with six newcomers this year, found themselves near the top of the leaderboard for the first time in years. However, Florida was able to narrowly overcome a come from behind victory with multiple matches making it to the 17th and 18th hole.
In the anchor match, Marc Dull was able to finish before other groups, taking down his opponents 3 & 1 and 4 & 3. Dull made six birdies on the front nine, giving him a lead over both teams and never giving it up. Dull’s record this week of (3-2-0) improved his overall record to (12-6-2).
Will Davenport proved why he was the man to beat of the week, beating both Blake Watts and Keith Guest of Alabama and Georgia respectively with a stress-free par on the last. With his five wins this week, Davenport improves his overall record to (7-2-1).
With the whole team surrounding the last green to watch Davenport win the Southeastern Challenge for Team Florida, the celebration began. Players embraced, knowing their hard work from the weekend paid off with the trophy.