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Richmond wins Golfweek/Any Given Tuesday event, Haskins exemption

Richmond wins Golfweek/Any Given Tuesday event, Haskins exemption

The Augusta/Haskins Award Invitational – for any team, but particularly a mid-major one – is what you might call a schedule upgrade. Richmond coach Adam Decker will be happy to work it into next season’s lineup after his team won the exemption at the rain-shortened Golfweek/Any Given Tuesday Collegiate on Tuesday.

Richmond had a one-shot lead on Long Island University and Valparaiso through two rounds at True Blue Golf Club in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, and was ready do battle during a final round that was forecasted to be wet. But with a handful of holes left on the back nine, heavy rain made True Blue unplayable, and scores reverted to 36 holes, leaving Richmond with the title and Long Island and Valparaiso in a tie for second.

“We were making a couple birdies before the big monsoon hit,” Decker said. “I felt like we were in a really good spot to finish strongly.”

Not only does Richmond receive a spot in the 20205 Augusta/Haskins tournament but since the event is played in the days leading up to the Masters, each team in the field traditionally receives tickets for Monday’s practice round at Augusta National.

Scores: Golfweek/Any Given Tuesday Collegiate

“We weren’t super focused on everything that surrounds it, we just wanted to keep getting a little better each week this season,” Decker said of playing solid golf with that carrot dangling. “This is like icing on the cake and certainly being able to play in the Haskins next year and go to the Masters, the guys are over the moon and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

The closing holes at True Blue Golf Club in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, require some strategy. They’re scoreable yet penal. Richmond was 3 shots off the lead when they hit that stretch in the first round but ballooned to double digits back. That stretch became a point of conversation in a subsequent team meeting.

“Our conversation the night before was let’s just get in position to have a chance on Wednesday and get it within shouting distance,” Decker said. “Lo and behold, Cole (Ekert) really put the team on his back and shot 6 under par and the other guys really hung in there and were able to get a one-shot lead going into Wednesday.”

Ekert, a junior, made seven birdies in his team-leading charge before making his sole bogey at the par-4 18th for a round of 66. He was 8 under for the tournament, which resulted in his second individual win. Valparaiso’s Caleb VanArragon was second…


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