GASTONIA, NC (April 11, 2017) - Led by medalist winner Trace Crowe's second consecutive 6-under 66 No. 22 Auburn has finished 18-under and won the Gary Koch Invitational. The victory for Auburn at Gaston Country Club was their fourth of the year to go along with triumphs at the Inverness Intercollegiate, Jerry Pate National and Tiger Invitational.
NC State (-10) finished second, Coastal Carolina (-2) was third while Georgia Southern (-1); ULM (-1) shared fourth. No. 11 Virginia placed sixth at 5-over.
Beginning the day five shots behind in the individual race, Crowe played a flawless round of golf that couldn't have begun any better. Starting on No. 1, Crowe promptly eagled the par-5 opening hole to quickly move to 5-under before carding birdies on Nos. 3, 4, 13 and the winner on 17. Ultimately, Crowe completed the tournament 9-under and as the winner by one.
Tuesday's win was the the second individual title of Crowe's career after he won the 2016 USA Individual Tournament. The back-to-back 66's also set a new career low score for the sophomore.
Overall the Tigers placed two others in the top-10; Jovan Rebula (T5; -4) and Jacob Solomon (T9; -2).
The remainder of the individual standings are rounded out by Jacob McBride (NC State) at 8-under in second, 36-hole leader Jamie Mist (Jacksonville State) and Jake Storey (Georgia Southern) shared third at 6-under while Rebula and Olle Widegren (Coastal Carolina) tied for fourth at 4-under.
With five Auburn Tigers in the top-10 the 22nd-ranked team in the country is leading the Gary Koch Invitational following the 36-hole first day. The Tigers will begin Tuesday's final round at Gaston Country Club 17-under and five shots in front of 12-under North Carolina State.
When play begins on Tuesday morning Auburn will be in search of their fourth win of the season. During the fall the Tigers won the Inverness Intercollegiate and Jerry Pate National back-to-back and then captured the Tiger Invitational at the beginning of March.
The low Tiger thus far is Jacob Solomon in fourth place at 5-under and three shots off the medalist pace. On Monday Solomon combined rounds of 70-69 to work his way into contention.
During his second round of the day Solomon rolled in five birdies and two bogeys. Starting on the 10th hole, Solomon recorded birdies on the 12th, 16th, 18th, 1st and 3rd holes.
Behind Solomon there are three members of the Auburn lineup tied for seventh at 3-under; Matt Gilchrest, Trace Crowe and Jovan Rebula.
Leading the medalist race is Jamie Mist of Jacksonville State. Mist, 8-under, started his day with a 1-under 71 first round before exploding with a 7-under 65 in the second round.
Teeing off on the front side Mist birdied his first two holes and set the stage for a seven birdie, two bogey, one eagle round.
The eagle was carded on the par-5 13th.
Jacob McBride (NC State) and Aaron Thomas (Gardner-Webb) are tied for second just one behind at 7-under, Auburn's Solomon is fourth at 5-under while Stephen Franken (NC State) and Ben Schlottman (Auburn) playing as an individual are tied for fifth at 4-under.
Behind the top two in the team standings are Georgia Southern (+5) and Coastal Carolina (+5) in third while No. 11 Virginia (+8) and ULM (+8) are sharing fifth.
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