Spencer Leads Flyers With Second Place Finish at St Andrews Fall Invitational

Spencer Leads Flyers With Second Place Finish at St Andrews Fall Invitational

Uncomfortable with his swing while posting a 78 in Sunday's first round of the St. Andrews Fall Invitational, Sandhills Community College golfer Stephen Spencer sought help from home.

The freshman from Asheboro asked teammate Thomas Storbeck to take a video of his swing from behind and emailed it to his father Todd Spencer for analysis.

"My hands were just a little high and when I came down I was shutting the face," he said.

Monday's round was a different story as Spencer rebounded to shoot a one-under par 71 and finished in a tie for second place (77-71-148), two strokes behind medalist Cameron Cappuzzo of Methodist (75-71-146).

Also finishing in the top 10 for the Flyers at Scotch Meadows Country Club in Laurinburg were freshman Andreas Huber, tie-sixth (74-78-152) and sophomore Grant Gilbert, tie-ninth (75-78-153).

The Flyers finished second as a team behind Methodist followed by St. Andrews in third place, Bluefield College in fourth and the Sandhills "B" team fifth.

"Stephen had a great round," Flyers' Coach Gus Ulrich said afterward as everyone enjoyed lunch in the clubhouse. "The good news is that the kids are super-excited to be here and to play golf."

Stepping in for Ulrich for Sunday's first round was Associate Athletic Director Ryan Riggan. The Flyers' coach returned from Austin, Texas that night after competing in the Senior PGA Professional Championship where he finished in a tie for 16th place after rounds of 67-69-70-74-280.

That qualified him for the Senior PGA Championship for the fourth year in a row. It will be held in Benton Harbor, MI on May 21-24, 2020.

Huber, who is from Bruneck, Italy, said that he putted poorly on Monday after shooting his best competitive round as a Flyer on Sunday. He attended Montverde Academy in Florida last year and had never been to Pinehurst before deciding to attend Sandhills.

"I came up here for the golf experience and all of the courses I can play," he said. "Back home it would be getting close to winter and I wouldn't be able to play golf. It's awesome here."

Huber's first-round 74 was his lowest score in three tournaments for the Flyers. A couple of late birdies helped salvage something from Monday's round of 78 that included a double and a triple bogey.

"I was pretty good off the tee and hit a lot of fairways and greens today, but my putting was really bad," he said.

Huber spent some time with his family in Italy in August and plans to return home again over the December holiday break.

"Andreas has a lot of physical ability and a beautiful golf swing," Ulrich said.

As Monday's play wound down after a shotgun start, Spencer still had medalist honors on his mind.

About halfway through the round, he made about a 10-foot putt for eagle on the par five 18th hole. Later he gave that back with a double bogey on a par three and missed a makeable putt for another eagle on the par five eighth hole.

"This one kind of hurts because you take back the two bogeys at the beginning of the round and most of all the double, and I might have won on a scorecard playoff."

This was the second tournament that the Flyers were able to field a "B" team. Carson Witherspoon shot 78-77-155 to lead the "B" team and tied for 11th place overall.

"It helps a ton to see what I've got being able to play all of them," Ulrich said. "The hard part is deciding who is going to go when we can only take one team.

"These are all great kids who want to learn and get better. We're going to keep learning and keep plugging."

The Flyers will travel to Mount Airy for the Surry Community College Fall Invitational on October 14-15. 

Team standings – 1. Methodist 301-294-595, 2. Sandhills 306-306-612, 3. St. Andrews 309-306-615, 4. Bluefield 314-327-641, 5. Sandhills "B" 319-330-649.

Top 10 Individuals – 1. Cappuzzo (M) 75-71-146, T2. Spencer (SCC) 77-71-148, T2. Angus McHolme (M) 72-76-148, 4. Andreas Pirc (SA) 75-75-150, 5. Luke Basile (M) 76-75-151, T6. Alex McGonagle (M) 78-74-152, T6. Huber (SCC) 74-78-152, T6. Yusuke Niwa (SA) 77-75-152, T9. Gilbert (SCC)75-78-153, T9. Caleb Hensley (SA) 75-78-153; Other Sandhills – T11. Witherspoon 78-77-155, 14. Nick Agapion 80-79-159, T17. Jacob Fuller 80-82-162, 19. Ted Sluser 84-79-163, 26. Andrew Crawford 85-87-172, 27. Dakota Oman 93-84-177, Mark Roder 76 (withdrew injury).

C. Bergmann