DHS grad helps FMU to third- place finish in the ’Boro
STATESBORO, Ga. – Junior McClure Thompson paced the Francis Marion University golf team by finishing 4-under par (74-66-72=212) and tied for sixth place at the Bash in the ’Boro Oct. 20. Aided by junior Grainger Howle, a Darlington High school graduate, The Patriots get their first Top-5 finish of the year, finishing tied for third in the team standings after a final-round 2-under 286 tally. Thompson was tied for second in the field with 15 birdies this week. His second round career low 6-under par, 66, would be the highlight for the Little River native. His 54-hole total of 212 ties him for fifth best 54-hole total over the past quarter century. “I was rolling the ball really well this week,” said Thompson. “I didn’t try to do too much, just keep it in front of me. Coach (Mark Gaynor) came in and helped in a few situations. All in all, it was just a good week on the course.” Senior John Burghardt and sophomore Casper Kennedy both carded final rounds of 2-under-par 70, helping the Patriots shoot back-to-back rounds under par. Kennedy finished the tournament in sole possession of 14th position at 1-over (73-74-70=217), while Burghardt climbed 10 spots up the leaderboard on Tuesday to finish tied for 21st at 4-over (77-73-70=220). FMU junior Grant Sellers finished the tournament tied for 19th at 3-over (75-70-74=219), while sophomore Mitchell Vance tied for 21st (72-74-74=220). Junior Grainger Howle, a graduate of Darlington High School, rounded out the Patriots at 21-over (80-77-80=237) and tied for 46th position. The Patriots shot 1-over par as a team during Monday’s opening 36 holes, and then finished at 863 to tie Appalachian State for third. The team’s second-round 5-under 283 on Monday tied the second-best round by a FMU golf squad in over 25 years. Georgia Southern took home the team title, finishing 33-under to secure a 13-shot victory (278-277-276=831). Georgia Southern’s Mason Williams claimed medalist honors at 10-under-par 206 (71-68-67). “It’s always good to see improvement,” said Gaynor. “We beat a few teams that we haven’t finished ahead of in the past, and we are making moves in the right direction.” This completes the abbreviated fall slate of tournaments for FMU. The Patriots will tee off the spring season as they host the 16th-annual Wexford Plantation Intercollegiate Tournament, Feb. 22-23, at Hilton Head Island.