Nelson Hangs On To Win Kiawah Classic Title
Nov. 5, 2013
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – Marquette University sophomore Nick Nelson won individual medalist honors, closing with a 1-over-par 73 Tuesday, and led the Golden Eagles to a runner-up finish at the Wendy’s Kiawah Classic, the final event of the fall season for the MU men’s golf team.
Nelson shot a 54-hole total of 6-under 210 at the Turtle Point Golf Course, two strokes better than Matthew NeSmith of South Carolina whose Gamecocks (864) went on to take home the team trophy.
It was Nelson’s first collegiate victory and the team’s best finish since Marquette (886) captured the team title at the John Dallio Memorial last fall.
“I just relied on my preparation and trusted my swing, and I felt very in control of my game,” said Nelson, whose second-round 67 Monday was the low round of the tournament, giving him a two-stroke lead heading into Tuesday’s final round.
“I was definitely nervous throughout the round, so it was nice having the coaches there to talk out strategy,” the Decorah, Iowa, native added. “It feels really great to get a win at any level, especially at a tournament with such great competition. It especially feels good to know I did just about as much as I could to help the team score.”
Nelson, who also celebrated his birthday over the weekend, carded 16 birdies during the three-day event. In his final round Tuesday, he sank a 25-foot birdie putt on the 10th green and got up-and-down from the sand for birdie on the par-5 hole 13.
“Nick’s a competitor and there’s no one who loves the game more,” said MU head coach Steve Bailey. “He struck it well all fall, but had some woes early on with his putting. But the guy did everything he could to work on that, and it all came together this week.
“I’m really proud of how we battled all week, especially today. We beat a lot of good teams this week – four or five teams were in the top-60 in the country. It was a great way to cap off the fall season and give us some excitement and more motivation to keep in going in the winter.”
Wendy’s Kiawah Classic