Confident C-N treks to Tar Heel State for Queens Invitational


VIDEO: Randy Wylie Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Coming off of its first win of the season at the North Georgia Fall Invitational, Carson-Newman now gears up for its first of back-to-back events to wrap up the fall slate with a trip to the Queens Invitational at the Irish Creek Country Club in Kannapolis, N.C.

The Eagles defied a seven-point deficit heading into the final round of action in Dahlonega, Ga. by firing a 12-under 276 in the final 18 to win the Invitational at 27-under. Tom Forster (Oundle, England) was deemed co-champion in the event with a career-best 201. No playoffs happened for the outright winner due to lightning in the area.

 "[The win at North Georgia] was very important particularly because the first tournament of the year, we did not play well," Carson-Newman coach Randy Wylie said. "We looked like we were unprepared for the first event and I think it was a real eye-opening experience and they just bounced back wonderfully. Just what you like to see in your team, to show that mental toughness and not lose their confidence, and we head into this third event with a lot of confidence."

Forster will lead the way for the Eagles for the second time this season. He heads to Kannapolis with a 71.2 scoring average through six rounds of action.

Playing at the No. 2 and 3 are Fintan McKenna (Aberdeen, Scotland) and Jake Mynatt (Knoxville, Tenn.), respectively. McKenna carded a new career-best 54-hole score at North Georgia with a 211 that tied him for 10th in the field. As for Mynatt, he looks to build off of the best round he has shot at Carson-Newman during the third round of the event, firing a 69 to close the event. The sophomore's 213 at the tournament also marked a new career-best in three rounds.

Newcomers Alex Hodge (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Fergus Robinson (Towcester, England) round at the Orange and Blue lineup at the fourth and fifth seeds. Hodge holds the second-best scoring average among those who have played in both of the previous tournaments with a 71.5 in six rounds. Robinson moved his average on the year to a 73.1 after winning the Walters State Fall Classic with the C-N B team. He went eight-under in the event with a 136 to lead the group to the team title, as well, at seven-under.

The Queens Invitational, hosted by the reigning South Atlantic Conference champion Royals, kicks off back-to-back weeks of tournaments filled with regional competition.

The field in the Tar Heel State this week will be a stout one as it holds two of the top teams in the nation. Georgia Southwestern State is second in the Golfstat and seventh in the Golf Coaches' Association of America rankings while USC Aiken in third and 10 in the respective polls.

"We're going to play a bunch of the best teams in the country over the next couple of weeks," Wylie said. "We've beaten these teams. We're prepared for it. The kids relish our schedule because we do get to play the best teams in the country and we're excited about going this week."

This is the first time the Eagles are returning to the event since 2010 when it finished in eighth down at the Pete Dye Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

The tournament kicks off Monday morning. The staff at Queens will provide live scoring via BirdieFire. A full recap and results can be found at following each day of play.