BIRMINGHAM, Al. (Oct. 19) - Andy Sanders owns the 1999 tournament's low round, but even the 64 the University of Houston golfer shot in Tuesday's final round wasn't low enough to match the winner. That's what kind of talent was among the field here at the 14th annual Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate.
The 54-hole tournament, which began with two rounds on Monday, ended with a playoff between Clemson and UNLV and an individual champion who finished twelve under par on the par 71 course at Birmingham's Old Overton. It is a stop on the Rolex Collegiate Golf Tour. Clemson beat UNLV by a shot on the second hole of the playoff with two birdies to UNLV's one to take the tournament's championship for the second year in a row.
Oklahoma State's Charles Howell, who ranks tied for third in the current Mastercard Collegiate Golf Rankings which are sponsored by the College Golf Foundation, finished one stroke ahead of Sanders (69-69-64/202) and Arizona State's Paul Casey (65-70-67/202) to win the individual championship. Howell shot 68-66-67/201 to win at twelve under par. He was one of 15 players to finish the tournament under par in this annual event which brings 12 of the nation's best collegiate golf teams to Birmingham and honors Alabama native and former University of Alabama and PGA golfer Jerry Pate. His own son Wesley, a freshman at Alabama whose own credits include champion of the Future Masters national junior golf championship, was among the 60 golfers competing for the team and individual titles.
The final team standings found the defending NCAA Champion University of Georgia third here at 838, Houston fourth (840), Oklahoma State fifth (849), followed by Arizona State (850), Arizona (855), UAB (858), Minnesota (863), Alabama (875), Auburn (884), and Florida (902). Mobile's Austin Hynson, a true freshman who was making only his second collegiate appearance, had Alabama's best finish. The UMS-Wright graduate shot 70-74-71/215 to finish at two over par and among a tie at 18th, his first top 20 finish. Alabama's other scores were: Nicholas Balanis 75-70-72/217, Freeman Fite 74-72-75/221, Jan-Are Larsen 74-72-80/226 and Wesley Pate 80-77-76/233.
"Our freshmen continue to make an impact," said Alabama golf coach Dick Spybey, "which is certainly a positive for this week. I couldn't be prouder of Austin Hynson who in his second collegiate tournament finishes in 18th place individually in the finest collegiate field in the county. Nic Balanis continues his steady play with a 217 total. But if this team is going to reach its potential we've got to get more production out of our few upperclassmen. I continue to be optimistic and truly feel this group will be a special one in the end."