VIDEO: Randy Wylie Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Following a fourth-place finish at the North Georgia Invitational at the beginning of October, the No. 16 Eagles look to improve even more as they close out their fall schedule with a trip to the Rio Pinar Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. for the McDonough Cup.
After nearly a three week break, head coach Randy Wylie kept a majority of the starters from the North Georgia trip in the lineup for the upcoming tournament, naming Thomas Forster, Jackson Tyler, Anthony Marcinelli and Jake Headrick as starters. Alex Hutson was also named to the starting lineup for the McDonough Cup.
Hutson was the highest scoring Eagle at the Walters State Fall Classic from Oct. 16-17, finishing the event at third on the leaderboard with a +3 outing of 147 through 36 holes at the Country Club in Morristown, Tenn.
"Alex Hutson played really, really well, so I was really pleased with that," Wylie said. "That's why you (add players who show really well in smaller tournaments), to give guys a chance to kind of prove themselves and prove their mettle."
Of the starters, three were on the travel team when Carson-Newman finished at 10th place in the McDonough Cup last season. Forster shot a 220 total for a tie at 18th while Headrick and Hutson finished at 42nd and 94th, respectively.
"We've not had great finishes at this event in the past, but we know the golf course really well. I expect a really good finish," Wylie said. "I think we can finish top-five and I don't really see a reason we can't contend to win the tournament.
"I expect a much improved finish over the past few years when we've gone down to this event."
The Eagles have placed in the top-10 of both previous events for the fall slate with their fourth-place showing at North Georgia being the highest finish yet.
Forster led the way for C-N in Dahlonega with a -5 two day outing for a fifth-place finish.
"Tom's last round was particularly encouraging," Wylie said of the sophomore. "He played terrific in the final round down there."
Tyler ended his time at North Georgia with an 18th place finish after shooting a total of 219. Marcinelli was one stroke behind him at 21st place while Headrick landed at 41st with a +12 outing of 228 over both days.
"I feel like, coming into the tournament, we're in a better place," Wylie said. "We had several guys it was their first time to play last year, so I think we'll really be able to build on that.
"I think if we play well, we could win."
The McDonough Cup, hosted by Rollins College, will include a field of 18 teams. Along with Carson-Newman, Queens (N.C), No. 10 Newberry and Wingate will represent the South Atlantic Conference. Seventeenth-ranked Lander will also be competing in the tournament.
A shotgun start will open the tournament on Monday morning at 8 a.m. The first day will consist of 36 holes while Tuesday's third round will be 18 holes.