Greensboro, N.C. - For at least one weekend, the Tar Heel State was wrapped in Maroon and White.
The Bulldogs leapfrogged Chattanooga on Sunday's final round to claim the 2012 Bridgestone Golf Collegiate championship, in what would be a difficult day for most squads on the cold Carolina morning.
State went into the clubhouse Saturday night only one stroke behind the University of Chattanooga, after shooting a 4-under-par for the first two rounds of the Bridgestone. The narrow lead was not enough however, as MSU quickly gained control of the lead early Sunday morning.
"It was a great feeling for our guys to pick up the win today at the Bridgestone, "head coach Clay Homan said of the Bulldogs come-from-behind win. "We needed a taste of victory before the fall season finished and it was nice to give our guys a little motivation going into the spring slate.
The victory for MSU is the first by Homan's squad since the 2009 March 22-24 Mobile Bay Intercollegiate. The Bulldogs claimed two wins that season. State has placed Top 5 or better in four tournaments this fall campaign, which is the most since the 2007-2008 season. In that season the Maroon and White advanced to a NCAA Championship berth.
MSU finished at 3-under-par 861 for the tourney, the second best score for State on the year. The Bulldogs shot a 6-under-par to begin the year at the Sam Hall Invitational; MSU would finish runner-up to Ole Miss in that tournament. This time around MSU was not settling for second, the Bulldogs finished four stokes ahead of second-place Chattanooga and 25 strokes ahead of the Rebels.
Junior Axel Boasson carried State the whole weekend at the Bridgestone, by turning in the best performance of his career. The Iceland native led the field at Grandover Resort with his 8-under-par after the first two rounds, but slipped to second place after he fired off an even par on Sunday. Boasson's previous best finish was a tie for 15th-place. The 208 was also a career high for the junior.
State was anchored by Boasson's incredible weekend, but once again "Mr. Consistency" Chad Ramey came to play. The junior shot a 71 for all three rounds at the Grandover Resort to finish in fourth place. The 3-under-par effort was the third Top 5 finish of the season for the Fulton, Miss., native to close out his fall campaign.
Senior Robi Calvesbert and junior Joe Sakulpolphaisan both stringed together a solid Top 25 performance this weekend after finishing tied for 15th. The pair each shot a 4-over-par in the Tar Heel State this weekend for MSU. Calvesbert and Sakulpolphaisan both earned their fourth Top 25 posting this year after the Bridgestone performance.
Rounding out Maroon and White's scorecard was true freshman Haraldur Magnus. The Iceland product tied for 43rd over the weekend. Magnus shot a 12-over-par 228 in only his third collegiate tournament played.
The Bridgestone was a great send off to the fall season for MSU, but the Bulldogs will return to the course hungrier than ever on Feb. 9-10. The spring slate will begin with a trip to Gainesville for the Gator Invitational and will feature six regular-season tournaments. Capping off the spring season, State will host its first home tournament in the men's program's history. The Old Waverly in nearby West Point will be the site of MSU's historic hosting come April.
Fans who want to keep up with everything Bulldog golf over the winter break can follow Mississippi State Golf on Twitter @mstateMG and on Facebook at facebook.com/mstateMG.
Final Total Team Scores
1. Mississippi State (286+286+289=861, -3); 2. Chattanooga (289+282+294=865, +1); 3.Iowa State (287+287+292=866, +2); 4. Mississippi (292+292+302=886, +22); T4. Virginia Tech (288+298+300=886, +22); T4. North Carolina State (289+297+300=886, +22); 7. Purdue (295+297+296=888+24); T8. Georgia State (304+291+295=890,+26); T8. Maryland (293+299+298=890,+26); 10. VCU (300+293+298=891, +27); 11.UNCG (297+290+311=898, +34); 12. Eastern Michigan (305+300+300=905, +41); 13. Boston College (300+301+305=906, +42)
MSU Player Scores
2. Axel Boasson 69+67+72=208, -8
5. Chad Ramey 71+71+71=213, -3
T15. Robi Calvesbert 73+74=73=220, +4
T15. Joe Sakulpolphaisan 73+74=73=220, +4
T43. Haraldur Magnus 74+75+79=228, +12