AWENDAW, South Carolina – Alex Goff, a senior on the Kentucky men’s golf team, carded the second-lowest tournament score in the Brian Craig era with a 16-under-par 200 to finish second at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate on Tuesday. As a team, the Wildcats finished in a tie for sixth at 19-under after posting a final-round 9-under 279, marking the second-best team round of the year.
“As a team, we made progress this week at the Hootie,” UK head coach Brian Craig said. “Our first round and last round were solid golf. I am proud of the way these guys bounced back today after not playing our best yesterday. And how about Alex Goff? Alex is rapidly becoming an elite college and amateur player. He is a flat-out stud who is doing a tremendous job of leading this team.”
Goff, a native of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, opened with a 6-under 66 on Sunday, followed by a 7-under 65 on Monday and a final-round 3-under 69 on Tuesday to best his previous career low by a stroke and finish two strokes off of current UK assistant coach Ben Fuqua’s 198 set at the Mason Rudolph Intercollegiate in the 2008-09 season. Fuqua’s score still stands as the best individual tournament score in the Brian Craig era (2001-present).
Goff held a three-stroke lead heading into a final round in which he carded five birdies against a double-bogey on the par-3 12th hole to post the 3-under 69 on Tuesday, but Furman’s Will Morlan came from behind to fire a final-round 8-under 64 to win by two strokes at 18-under for the tournament. The second-place finish ties Goff’s second-best career finish after placing second at the Battle at Briar’s Creek this February and winning the Blessings Collegiate Invitational to start his sophomore season in 2020-21.
“Having the second-lowest 54-hole total means a lot to me,” Goff said. “A ton of great players have come through this program and it’s pretty cool to achieve this. It’s nice to see all the hard work I put in during the offseason start to pay off. I have been trending in the right direction for a while so I’m hoping to get a win soon.”
The tournament marked Goff’s third time playing the Hootie at Bulls Bay, where he now has seven rounds under par in nine rounds played. He now has a team-high 17 rounds of par-or-better, including a team-best 15 under-par, in his senior campaign.
However, Goff wasn’t the only Wildcat to play well Tuesday, as all five UK starters produced final rounds of par or better. Junior Campbell Kremer tallied three birdies on his way to a 1-under-par 71 final round and a tie for 40th finish at 1-under. Freshman Kevin Watts responded after a difficult second round to card two birdies against a pair of bogeys for a final-round even-par 72 and a tie for 45th at even-par for the tournament.
Graduate Garrett Wood recorded the Cats’ best round of the day, using six birdies on his way to a 4-under 68, his second-best score of the season, to tie for 62nd at 3-over. Senior Jackson LaLonde rounded out the Wildcat lineup, also tying his second-best score of the year with a final-round 1-under 71, to tie for 70th at 7-over for the tournament.
Playing as an individual, graduate Dhaivat Pandya posted a final-round 3-over 75 to conclude the tournament in a tie for 59th at 2-over-par.
As a team, Kentucky ranked fourth in the field with 183 pars. Individually, Goff led in par-3 scoring at 4-under-par, ranked second in par-5 scoring at 10-under and carded 20 birdies, the second-most in the field. Kremer’s 41 par also tied for second in the 81-competitor field.
Up next, Kentucky concludes its regular-season slate at the Lewis Chitengwa Memorial April 10-11 in Charlottesville, Virginia.