In a breakthrough year, head men’s golf coach Andrew Tredway scored his first tournament title at the Frito Lay/AT&T Intercollegiate in Choctaw, Miss., before spring break. Riding the success of Mercer junior Josh Cone, the Bears lifted their first trophy of the season as they outplayed the field and bested Bethune-Cookman by 15 strokes for the victory.
Josh Cone shot a second-round 69 after an opening-round 75 to win the individual title while teammates John Gregory Joseph (T-2nd, 71-75) and Hans Reimers (T-2nd, 73-73) would round out the top three finishers in the two-day tournament. Matt Kocolowski (T-16th, 76-78) and Stefan Labuschagne (T-38th, 81-78) would round out Mercer’s lineup on a milestone day for the Bears.
“We got off to a shaky start and I’m so proud of how the guys battled back at the end,” Tredway said on MercerBears.com following the tournament. “I’m so proud of Cone today. That’s a big win for him and should be a confidence-builder for the future. He’s really starting to come into his own as a player,” he added.
Facing a tougher field at the John Hayt Collegiate Invitational at the Sawgrass Country Club in Jacksonville, Mercer scored an 11th-place finish in the 15-team tournament against some tough opponents. Arkansas (+2) would win the tournament title while Mercer (+34) would only finish 32 strokes back and within reach of the top 10 on the final day. Matt Kocolowski (T-21st, 77-74-71) would be the top finisher for the Bears as teammates John Gregory Joseph (T-28th, 73-74-76), Hans Reimers (T-37th, 70-77-78) and James Beale (T-54th, 76-78-76) would put forth their best efforts. Coming off of his first individual tournament title at Mercer, Josh Cone would struggle for a tie in 63rd, carding a 75-78-79.
“Eleventh doesn’t look great on paper, but it really puts us on a path to get one of the at-large bids at the end of the year,” Tredway said following the tournament. “That’s our goal and we just need to keep working at that.”
Continuing their competition against top-flight opponents, Tredway’s crew traveled to Bandon Dunes, Ore., for another nationally recognized tournament against some of the best schools in the West, ultimately settling for 11th in the 16-team event. Washington (#27) would take the tournament title as Florida (#4) would surprisingly finish third in the very competitive event. Considering the distance traveled and the competition, the scores were respectable with Matt Kocolowski (T-35th, 77-75-77) recording the low total for the Bears’ five-man roster. Playing as an individual, Mookie DeMoss (T-16th, 69-80-74) had a wild ride in Oregon after compiling four birdies during his first round before a bogey-filled second round. His third round +2 would be the low score for Mercer during the final day of action.
With only two tournaments remaining before the Atlantic Sun Championship Mercer ranks #95 in the nation, according to GolfStat.com, after posting relatively competitive scores against the best NCAA competition in the country during the past two tournaments.