Spartans Surge to Take Second at Quail Valley
Kaleb Johnson and Andrew Walker both have career days.
VERO BEACH, Florida - The Michigan State men's golf team moved up four spots in the final round of the Quail Valley Intercollegiate in Vero Beach, Florida, on Tuesday to take second place. The Spartans tied a season-low with a 12-under-par 276 in the third round to finish the tournament at 25-under-par 839 (282-281-276).
USF won the tournament at 44-under-par 820 (279-273-268).
"I think it was gut-check time today and we responded with some good play," said MSU head coach Casey Lubahn. "I'm really proud of the guys. It was a great week for us here with our hosts, the Gorman family, and it was a good finish to go into the spring."
For the second straight year, Kaleb Johnson tied for third place at 12-under-par 204 (67-72-65) at the Quail Valley Golf Course. Johnson, who began the final round on No. 8, birdied six of the first eight holes en route to shooting a 7-under-par 65, tying a career best.
"Kaleb got off to a fast start and he's a lightning rod," said Lubahn. "With his play this fall he has put himself in position to be one of the top players in the league."
Johnson finished two shots back of the tournament medalist, Felix Palson of Louisiana Tech.
Andrew Walker had the best round of his career on Tuesday with a 6-under-par 66. Walker recorded seven birdies on the day in posting a career best 54-hole score of 5-under-par 211 (74-71-66).
"Andrew did something in the last two weeks that's as impressive as I've seen - he rebuilt his golf swing and then trusted it today," said Lubahn. "I'm really happy for him."
Walker tied for 21st place along with freshman James Piot. Piot was steady through all three rounds, following a pair of 2-under-par 70s with a 1-under-par 71 in the final round.
The Spartans will be off until Feb. 9-10, 2018, when they return to Florida for the Big Ten Match Play Championship.