Ryan Eshleman came close to making college golf history in the desert.
The junior at Auburn stepped to the 18th tee at Mirabel Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, at 10 under for the day. 11 birdies, one bogey and five pars in Eshleman’s first 17 holes. A birdie on the 18th would mean becoming the first college golfer to shoot 59.
He made it on the green with an opportunity for birdie. Eshleman hit the putt, and it tracked toward the hole yet died right before reaching it, leading to a tap-in par.
He signed for a 10-under 60, setting the new mark for lowest round in Auburn history. He became the 16th men’s golfer to card a 60 in college golf all time.
— Lance Ringler (@GolfweekRingler) September 9, 2022
Eshleman ended up finishing T-8, as Auburn captured the Maui Jim Intercollegiate, finishing at 45 under. That mark set a new school record for lowest three-round score in school history, and the 22-under mark after the first round set a single-round record. In addition, the Tigers also set new program marks for lowest 18- and 36-hole scores. Arizona State came in second place at 40 under, which was its lowest three-round score in program history.
Tennessee freshman Caleb Surratt won the individual competition, shooting an 18-under 192. He beat Florida State’s Cole Anderson by three shots. The Volunteers also set a new 54-hole program scoring record.
Tennessee’s Caleb Surratt holds the trophy after winning the Maui Jim Intercollegiate. (Photo: Tennessee Athletics)
Speaking of a 59 watch, there was more than one performance that nearly tried to reshape the college record books.
Lipscomb’s Jason Hong was 12 under after 15 holes at Streamsong Resort’s Blue Course, needing one birdie in his final three holes to shoot a 59 (par-72 layout). Hong parred the first then made eight straight birdies to close the front nine. He started the back nine with two consecutive pars before four straight birdies. He narrowly missed a birdie putt on the par-3 16th, but Hong made bogey on the 690-yard par-5 17th. A par at the last, and he signed for an 11-under 61.
The round set a new Streamsong Blue course record and a Lipscomb 18-hole record.
🗣️ 𝓗𝓘𝓢𝓣𝓞𝓡𝓨 𝓜𝓐𝓓𝓔🗣️
Jason Hong fired a 6⃣1⃣ today in the final round at Streamsong🔥
— Lipscomb Men's Golf (@LipscombMGOLF) September 13, 2022
Hong finished in third place at 15-under 201, five shots behind Virginia freshman Ben James, who had 18 birdies, an eagle and no bogeys en route to his victory. Virginia also won the Streamsong Invitational, shooting 56 under to set a new program mark for a 54-hole low score. The Cavaliers topped Lipscomb by seven shots to win.
Meanwhile, Georgia Southern is continuing to show why it’s the best men’s mid-major in college golf. The Eagles won the Gopher Invitational in Independence, Minnesota, by five shots over Kansas and Kent State. Georgia Southern shot 20-under 832, including a 9-under final round to pull away for victory. Wilson Andress came away with the individual victory for Georgia Southern at 11-under 202, beating Coastal Carolina’s Garrett Cooper by two shots. U.S. Amateur runner-up Ben Carr finished T-10 at 5 under for the Eagles.
There was a crazy finish at the VCU Shootout, where the hosts and Charleston Southern went four playoff holes before determining the winner. VCU and Charleston Southern each finished at 36-under 828 for the tournament, but it was the latter coming away with the late win. George Washington University finished a shot out of the playoff.
Cameron Jourdan covers college and amateur golf for Golfweek. Got a college or amateur story? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.