Cougars win Aflac/Cougar Invitational, Mize medalist - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Cougars win Aflac/Cougar Invitational, Mize medalist

Columbus — Besting an 18-team field, the No. 11 Columbus State men's golf team cruised to victory in the Aflac/Cougar Invitational Tuesday. The tournament was played at the Country Club of Columbus.

The tournament win is the first for the Cougars since winning the Aflac/Cougar Invitational in 2010.

"I'm so proud of the boys because the quality of their performance was excellent," commented head coach Mark Immelman. "It was great to win the team event as well as the individual medalist."

Of the 18 teams participating, 13 are currently ranked or receiving votes in the latest GolfWorld/Nike Golf Division II Coaches' Poll.

CSU ended the tournament as the only team in red figures at two-under par 850. No. 13 West Florida (858) entered the day in second place and remained there after shooting the best score of the final round. Fourteenth-ranked Georgia College (863) moved into third place with Lee (864) and Lander (871) finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.

Coming down the stretch, redshirt-sophomore Robert Mize birdied 16 and eagled 17 to move to four-under par for the day and six-under for the tournament. The eagle pushed Mize into the lead and gave the Columbus native his first collegiate individual win.

"I played well even though I went up-and-down over the first two rounds," said Mize. "I had to stay patient early today because my putts weren't going in but I knew they were come and they did down the stretch."

Not to be outdone, teammate Yannick Gumowski fired a one-under par 70 in the final round notching a third place finish overall. The top-three performance was the best for Gumowski as a Cougar.

Bryan Lichimo made it three Cougars in the top-20 as the redshirt-junior carded a final round 74 to close out the tournament five-over par. Lichimo has now finished in the top-20 in nine of his 13 tournaments at Columbus State.

Senior Cates Culpepper entered the day tied for fourth, but struggled in the final round with CSU's drop score at 81. Thanks to two strong first rounds, the Columbus native finished just eight-over par and tied for 33rd.

After two drop scores on Monday, James Clayton shot a five-over par 76 to score for the Cougars in the third round. In his first tournament as a Cougar, the junior college transfer placed 68th.

The Cougars won't rest long as they return to the course Monday, October 7 for the Indian Bayou Classic in Destin, Fla.

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