Men’s Golf Take Title; Women Place Second in Home Invitational

Men’s Golf Take Title; Women Place Second in Home Invitational
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Following the final round of the King College Intercollegiate Invitational, the hosts made the biggest splash and took away two titles after the final 18 holes. The men's golf team defeated the field for the tournament victory while the women's team took second in their competition. Tornado senior Adrian Kibsey won the men's individual competition while Esther Gandarias took second overall on the women's side.

Kibsey came into the final round tied for first with King teammate Richard Powell (Hixson, Tenn.) and freshman John Scott (Glasgow, Scotland) at one-under-par. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native held on to his lead shooting an even-par (70) and a two-round total of 139 (-1).

"It certainly feels great to win," said Kibsey. "I was comfortable on the course today. I went out there to play each shot, one at a time, while in the back of my mind knowing if I play my best I have the ability to win [the tournament]."

Scott and Powell both fell off the pace but still finished with top-10 performances, ending with rounds of 75 and 80, respectively. Josh Bamberger (Waterloo, Ontario) regrouped from his first-round 74 and improved his second-round score by six strokes, shooting a two-under par (68) to finish in a tie for second place in the tournament. He improved by four strokes on the back-nine alone from day one to day two, and nailed three birdies alone in the final nine of Tuesday's round.

"Josh [Bamberger] and Adrian [Kibsey] have been leading this team for two years now," said Head Coach Brian Kamm. "With their senior leadership, taking everything we have been talking about for two years and putting it into play we're not only winning tournaments now, we are preparing this program's future."

The Tornado not only saw two individual medalists but also took home the team tournament victory. King (565) shot more than 25 shots better than the next placing team, North Greenville University (591). Milligan (596) finished third out of the seven-team field with Erskine (602), Lincoln Memorial (608), King's secondary team (623) and Hiwassee rounding out the competition. This is the second team tournament victory of the season for the Tornado. The men won their opening season tournament at North Greenville in September.

Other notable performances on the final day include freshman Ross Maietta (Bexley, England), who had a seven-shot improvement from his first to second round score card. Maietta (151) shot a 72 (+2) on the final day to lead the King secondary team and finish in a tie for 12th overall.

The Lady Tornado finished second of five teams in the tournament with a two-round total of 668. The team improved by two shots from their first round score but could not overcome Erskine, who took the title with consecutive team rounds of 334 (668). Esther Gandarias (Madrid, Spain) medaled with a second place overall finish (82-79-161) and led the Lady Tornado both days. Gandarias was in position to earn first place honors but lost the lead after the final hole to individual winner Brittany Baker (159) of Milligan. Gandarias had a three-stroke improvement from day one to day two, the second-highest improvement next to Baker.

"The ladies played solid and played the course well," said Kamm. "We've been really hammering the women's team, challenging them more and more each week. It is starting to pay off now and the team is really responding."

King featured two top-5 finishers on the ladies' side. Cortnee Young (Cleveland, Tenn.) joined Gandarias inside the top-5 with a two-day score of 166 (83-83). Anna Walker (Marion, Va.) finished inside the top-10 tied for eighth place (84-86-170). Kerby Jones (96-96-190) and Chelsea Gammon (95-109-204) rounded out the King women's score card.

"The golf course played wonderfully," said Kamm. "The course was in great shape, greens were firm and fast which makes this tournament play like a PGA Tour event. The players do not get to play under these conditions very often so it was a real treat for them to play the course as it was. It really forced them to have to think through the course rather than play to the pin."

The King men's team will compete in their final tournament of the fall season at Lincoln Memorial University on Oct. 17-18. The women's team has completed their fall season with the conclusion of the King College Invitational.