Sophomore Jack Whelan matched the low collegiate round since the reinstitution of men's golf at St. Lawrence University in 1999 with a three-under par 69, leading the Saint men to the team championship in the weather-abbreviated 2012 St. Lawrence Collegiate Invitational.
The tournament was reduced to an 18-hole event for the first time in its history when heavy rain and wind forced players off the course about five holes into Saturday's scheduled first round. The weather and debris on the greens rendered the course unplayable for the rest of the day, but superintendent Jim Hennessey and his crew cleared things up for Sunday's round and the weather cooperated with a cool, but sunny day.
Whelan and Xavian Bina of NYU were the only players to break par on the 6673-yard par-72 course. Bina shot 71. Saint sophomore Brandon Lustig, playing for the SLU Brown team, shot even-par 72.
Whelan's Saint Scarlet team had a best four-of-five score total of 298 as sophomore Jack Reardon tied for fifth overall with a 75 and seniors Chris Mudge and Jeff Duggan and junior Walker Steers all shot 77s.
NYU was second in the team race with a 301 total while Middlebury was third at 303. Lustig's 72 helped the Saint Brown team to fourth at 312 with Oswego fifth at 313, the SLU Saints team sixth at 315. Hamilton was seventh at 315 followed by Clarkson at 318, Potsdam at 324, Canton College at 345, Utica at 355 and Johnson State (VT) was 12th at 364.
Whelan started his round in spectacular style when he punched a shot below hanging limbs from 135 out on the second hole with the ball ending up on the fringe of the green. He drained the birdie put and went on to birdie the par-five fourth to make the turn at two-under. He bogied the par-four tenth, but came back with birdies on the par-five 11th, par-three 12th and par-four 14th to get it to four-under. He bogied the tough par three 17th, but made par on the par-five 18th for his 69 which was the second best single round score in the tournament history, two off the 67 shot by Garrett Rank in 2010. His scored matched the 69 shot by Chris Felix in 2005 for the lowest by a Saint golfer.
Lustig's 72 was the third best score in the tournament as he played the front nine in one-under 35 and bogeyed the 18th for a 37. Reardon was fifth overall at 75 while sophomore Graham Niles, a transfer, shot 76 in his first Saint appearance and tied for ninth.
Lustig and Niles were joined on the Brown team by Matt Barbuzzi, who shot 81, Jake Danforth with shot 83 and Mike Phelan who shot 85. Freshman Sam Cregg shot 77 and tied for 13th while Tommy Ferguson shot 78, John Harris 79, Brady Garrett 81 and Justin Ward 82 for the SLU Saints team.
The Saint men will continue fall competition at Middlebury next weekend.