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Junior Deven Patel shines despite disappointing fourth place finish for Cavaliers at Hamptons Intercollegiate

After a strong start and a stronghold on first place following the first round, a dominant finish was spoiled by a poor final round

<p>Patel finished at a 4-over 212 for the weekend.</p>

Patel finished at a 4-over 212 for the weekend.

Following a streak of promising finishes at the Valero Texas Collegiate and the Highlands Invitational as well as over a week of rest, Virginia set out on the road once again, headed for East Hampton, N.Y. and the Hamptons Intercollegiate at Maidstone Club. 

This location holds a place in the memories of this Cavalier squad, with this event being one of their two team victories last fall, albeit with a 3-over 868. Virginia set its hopes on another successful outcome last weekend.

The Cavaliers got off to a hot start in the first round, with junior Deven Patel, sophomore Ben James and senior George Duangmanee all contributing sub-70 scores to solidify a place atop the leaderboard. Only sophomore Bryan Lee’s  4-over 76 thwarted an opportunity for the squad to truly set itself apart from the rest in the field. Even then, the Cavaliers still held a commanding seven-stroke lead over second-place UCLA heading into day two.

The second round proved more of a challenge for the Cavaliers. Although Lee made a massive recovery to shoot a team low for the tournament of 6-under 66, nearly everyone else struggled mightily. James and junior Paul Chang both delivered scores of 3-over 75 and Duangmanee also put together an above-par score of 2-over 74.

Although the second round was split across Monday and Tuesday due to darkness, good playing conditions helped UCLA and Ohio State to come within striking distance and allowed Alabama to surmount Virginia for the top spot on the leaderboard heading into the final round. 

The third round held even more misfortune for the Cavaliers, as the course took a toll on nearly every player in the Virginia lineup. Only Chang was able to muster an even-par 72, while the rest of the squad struggled in a similar fashion to the day before. A team score of 293 dropped them to fourth place in the tournament, 14 shots behind the lead team of Alabama. 

The event was not without its successes, however, as Patel showed incredible consistency in an event that heavily lacked it, compiling an individual score of 4 over 212 and earning himself a seventh-place individual finish. When all was said and done, Chang, Duangmanee, James and Lee all came in tied for 16th at one-over par. 

These numbers advocate for the quality of play from the Cavaliers this week, but their inability to put up really low scores when players from other teams were getting hot ended up leaving them in the dust.

After this week’s showing, the Cavaliers remain hovering in the same territory of the GCAA poll, as they are currently ranked 13th in the nation. The Cavaliers will look to right the ship and make their presence known across the NCAA with a strong performance to round out their fall schedule next weekend at the Golf Club of Georgia Invitational in Alpharetta, Ga.


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