East Lake Cup: North Carolina and Florida State advance to championship match
Maxwell Ford and Kale Fontenot (East Lake Cup Photo)
Maxwell Ford and Kale Fontenot (East Lake Cup Photo)

Both men’s semifinals were rematches of the 2023 national semifinals. North Carolina outlasted Georgia Tech 3-2 to advance to the championship match, and Florida State punched its ticket to the title match with a 3-2 win over in-state foe Florida.

The first point of the day went to the Yellow Jackets with freshman Carson Kim’s 4&3 win over North Carolina senior Peter Fountain. North Carolina responded with a point from graduate student Austin Greaser, who topped Georgia Tech fifth-year Bartley Forrester 3&2.

Junior David Ford, an Atlanta native, added North Carolina’s second point of the afternoon with his dominant 5&4 win over sophomore Hiroshi Tai. The final two matches went to a playoff, and it was a 1-up victory in 21 holes for Georgia Tech senior Christo Lamprecht over UNC graduate student Kenan Poole that tied the contest 2-2.

North Carolina claimed victory when junior Maxwell Ford outlasted Georgia Tech freshman Kale Fontenot, Monday’s men’s medalist, 1-up in 22 holes to earn a spot in Wednesday’s championship match.

“Just really proud of them right now,” North Carolina head coach Andrew DiBitetto said. “You know, obviously, I think we were up 2-1, but those back matches with Maxwell and Keenan… just the heart and resiliency to get it to extra holes and for Maxwell to finish it off.”

The later semifinal was a Sunshine State showdown between Florida and Florida State, which also came down to the final match. Florida senior Tyler Wilkes opened the afternoon with an emphatic 5&3 victory over FSU senior Frederik Kjettrup.

The Seminoles responded with back-to-back points from freshman Tyler Weaver and senior Gray Albright, who claimed 2&1 and 3&1 victories, respectively. Redshirt freshman Luke Poulter kept Florida in the match with a 4&3 win, which knotted the semifinal matchup at 2-2. The anchor match pitted Florida sophomore Matthew Kress against FSU sophomore Luke Clanton.

Clanton staved off a valiant comeback effort from Kress and held on to win, 1-up, which propelled the Seminoles to the championship match.

“Our two seniors didn't get a point and all of our underclassmen came through with a point to win, and the two seniors have played in three national championships,” Florida State head coach Trey Jones said. “So that's one of the things you want in the fall is these guys to get not only experience, but positive experience and that happened today.”

Recap Courtesy of East Lake Cup

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ABOUT THE East Lake Cup

Started in 2015 and hosted by the historic East Lake Golf Club Atlanta, this collegiate, three-day match play competition features the top-performing teams from the previous year's NCAA Men’s Golf Championships. There is an individual award for the low 18-hole scorer in the seeding round.

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