Men’s golf tops No. 24 Georgia and No. 35 North Florida

Michael Shipma

Sports Editor

The No. 64-ranked Troy men’s golf team picked up underdog wins over No. 24 Georgia and No. 35 North Florida on Friday, improving its postseason stock heading into the Sun Belt Conference Championship.

The Trojans split match play with the hosting Bulldogs, winning the first match 3-0-2 before dropping the second 2-2-1. Troy then defeated North Florida 3-2 to earn its second win over top-35 competition in one day.

Troy’s first score line of 3-0-2 against Georgia signified three wins for Troy, zero wins for Georgia and two ties, also known as all-squares.

Jared Bettcher, Jake Tiffin and Clayton Vannoy all went undefeated through their respective three matches.

Troy couldn’t have asked for a much better start Friday in its first round of match play against Georgia as the Trojans didn’t concede a single head-to-head matchup. Bettcher defeated Georgia’s Will Chandler by a score of 5-and-4 while Tiffin defeated the Bulldogs’ Jack Larkin 2-up. Luke Moser got the final point for the Trojans, defeating Trevor Phillips with a 1-up score.

Vannoy and Calum Masters played the remaining individual matches to an all-square finale.

Georgia rallied from the loss later in the day, however, narrowly avoiding another defeat to Troy with a 2-2-1 score in the second match.

Tiffin and Vannoy both earned wins for Troy while Bettcher played Georgia’s Tye Waller to an all-square score. Moser and Masters were the only Trojans who conceded their respective individual matches.

Troy capped off its regular season with another win over top competition, this time over the No. 35 Ospreys.

Bettcher picked up a 4-and-3 win over North Florida’s Andrew Alligood, and Tiffin used a 2-and-1 to defeat Michael Mattic, getting the Trojans started.

UNF bounced back with Travis Trace’s 3-and-2 win over Moser, but Vannoy’s point clinched the match for the Trojans with a 3-and-2 victory over Phillip Knowles.

Dillon Woods defeated Masters for the final point, but it was too little, too late as Troy escaped the day undefeated and with two big wins.

The Trojans will now look forward to the conference championships which start Sunday and will go through Tuesday. They will look to defend last year’s title and an automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals starting May 15.

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