Liam Johnston (Dumfries, Scotland) led the Chattanooga Mocs to a strong fourth-place finish at the AutoTrader.com Collegiate. Johnston’s career-best eight-under par 208 paced a Mocs effort that resulted in a 54-hole score of 855. The 855 is the team’s lowest tourney total since winning the 2010 Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate with the same amount.
Johnston is now 14-under par through two events this season. That he is in the lineup at all is thanks to the government shutdown in Washington.
“He got into the Brickyard last weekend because Air Force had to cancel,” Head Coach Mark Guhne shared. “He gets a top 10 and is taking full advantage of his opportunity.
“There has never been a question about Liam’s ability,” Guhne continued. “He just missed out on qualifying for the first two events. Hopefully he’ll continue to play like this because frankly it’s a lot of fun to watch.”
Johnston was ever so close to winning his first collegiate event tying for second at minus eight. Playing with the eventual winner Chase Koepka from USF, the duo were a stroke apart on the par five 15th. Koepka chips in for birdie and Johnston misses a short birdie try for what ended up as the two-shot difference.
He was not alone in his fine play. Freshman Ewan Scott (St. Andrews, Scotland) posted a season-high 11 birdies en route to his first collegiate top 10. Scott tied for eighth at minus five (211) after shooting 71 for his final 18.
“I’m really proud of Ewan,” Guhne added. “He got off to a rocky start. Quite frankly, he played so much over the summer and into the fall that he didn’t get to work on his golf swing. We got a little break before the Brickyard, and it’s obvious the work paid off.”
Wes Gosselin (Knoxville, Tenn.), Davis Bunn (Knoxville) and Chris Robb (Aberdeenshire, Scotland) rounded out the team scoring. Gosselin had his best finish yet tying for 25th at one-over par 217. The redshirt freshman is really hitting his stride after a season away from the game due to an elbow injury.
Bunn shot 220, while Robb ended up at 228. Stuart Thomas (Knoxville) played as an individual finishing one shot behind Robb at 229.
“Davis had his best tourney since the Carpet Capital,” Guhne said. “I think he and Chris both have put a little extra pressure on themselves as the seniors this year. It was good to see Davis play a little better. We need Chris to get there.
“I know their best golf is in front of them.”
Georgia State (845) started the day in third, but finished it winning by two over USF (847). Second round leader South Alabama (849) was third. Koepka shot 10-under 206 for medalist honors.
Chattanooga claimed wins over Kentucky (one shot), No. 22 Mercer (4), Georgia Southern (6), UNCG (12), Ole Miss (14), Furman (27) and Michigan (29). UTC is certainly moving in the right direction.
“We got off to a slow start,” Guhne concluded. “But we’ve gotten better every time out. That’s all you can ask for out of team and we’ve done it. With one event left in the fall, hopefully we keep that trend.”
The Mocs finish the fall portion of the 2013-14 schedule in a little under two weeks. The team returns to the Bridgestone Golf Collegiate in Greensboro, N.C., October 26-27, where Robb is the defending medalist. A link to access live scoring is on GoMocs.com and fans can follow @GoMocsMGLF on Twitter for updates.