BALTIMORE — The 10th-seeded Tennessee men’s golf team closed out the 2004-05 season with an 11th-place finish at the NCAA Championships. The Vols finished the tournament with a scorecard of 279-288-313-290--1170 at Caves Valley Golf Club, marking the first time since 1981 UT had played on the final day and their highest finish since 1995 when it tied for 16th.
Seniors Ross McGowan and David Skinns each finished the tournament with scores of 70. McGowan led UT with a four-day total of 67-71-75-70--283 to finish tied for seventh. The top-10 finish was the sixth of the year for McGowan and his final round consisted of four birdies and seven bogeys.
Skinns concluded his collegiate career with a scorecard of 71-75-81-70--297 to tie for 51st. His improved play from the third round saw him record three birdies and three bogeys in an 11-stroke turn-around.
Fellow senior John Scott Rattan carded a 74 in his final collegiate round for a four-day total of 303 and a tie for 70th. He recorded two bogeys, one double bogey and 15 pars.
Freshman Ben Spickard was the fourth scorer for the Vols with a 76 to total a 305. Spickard’s first trip to the NCAA finals saw him finish in a tie for 73rd. His round included one birdie and seven bogeys.
Rounding out the Tennessee contingent was freshman Philip Pettitt with a final round score of 79 for a total of 300. Pettitt struggled for much of the day, carding one birdie, four bogeys and three double bogeys.
The Georgia Bulldogs claimed the national title with an 11-stroke victory and a scorecard of 274-284-297-280--1135. Finishing runner-up was Georgia Tech with an 1146. Washington (1153) was third, while Brigham Young (1154) and New Mexico (1158) rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth respectively.
James Lepp of Washington claimed the individual national championship in a playoff over Michael Putnam of Pepperdine. Both players ended the tournament with scores of 276, but Lepp claimed the title on the third hole of the playoff. Roberto Castro of Georgia Tech finished third with a 279.
The Vols conclude the season with a record of 139-59-4 (.698) and an SEC record of 30-19-2 (608). They claimed three team championships during the season at the Bank of Tennessee/Ridges Intercollegiate, Coca-Cola Tournament of Champions and Ashworth Collegiate Invitational. Skinns was the SEC individual champion while garnering first-team all conference honors for the third time in his career. McGowan received second-team honors for the first time. Tennessee also claimed a program first when it received the top ranking in the country during the season.