COLUMBUS, Ga. - Valdosta State tallied 20 points to finish in third place at the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational at the par-71, 6,515-yard Country Club of Columbus Tuesday.
The Blazers finished the stroke portion of play, which was held on Monday when the two teams played 36 holes, tied for second out of 14 teams. The field was paired to just eight teams for Tuesday's match play round and saw VSU fall just half a point short of eventual champions Columbus State and North Alabama, who tallied 20.5 points each. Delta State also finished in third with 20 points while Georgia College rounded out the top five with 19. The remainder of the field included Barry (15 points), Queen's (12.5) and Lander (12).
The match play set-up, which will be incorporated into the Division II National Championship beginning in 2011, featured the players from each team competing against like-seeded players from each of the other seven teams to advance to the match play round. Thus, VSU's Michael Rafalowicz, who paced Valdosta State in the 36 holes of stroke play, faced off against each of the other No. 1 players, while Abdul Sahig played at No. 2, Evan Hanna No. 3, Austin Graham No. 4 and Clarke Hendrick No. 5. The players were awarded points in relation to how they faired against the other seven players at each position, with each player eligible to win a maximum of seven points.
Hanna and Graham each earned the maximum seven points on the day as they finished as the top player at their respective position. Hendrick was just behind as he finished with six points, but both Rafalowicz and Sahig were shut out on the day.
The Blazers return to action Monday, October 18 when they begin play at the Division II Preview in Florence, Ala., site of the 2011 National Championship.
From VSU Sports Information