NORTH AUGUSTA — It took four years, but Georgia Regents is king of disc golf once again.
The Jaguars entered Saturday’s final rounds of the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships at the Hippodrome Disc Golf Complex trailing Ferris State by a stroke. But a strong opening round catapulted Georgia Regents into the lead by six shots over the Bulldogs.
“We just came out stagnant,” Ferris State’s Nate DeFrain said. “They came out hot by making three or four birdies in a row and we just couldn’t make it happen.”
Georgia Regents’ Dakota Bailey helped to tie the lead for the Jaguars by landing a monster drive within five feet of the basket for an easy birdie putt on No. 2 on the Old Glory course. A birdie on No. 3 gave Georgia Regents the lead, and the Jaguars never looked back.
“It was huge for momentum because we didn’t have to try to make a hard putt in the wind,” Bailey said. “The next hole we were able to make a big putt, then it was big putt after big putt the rest of the round.”
After settling for par on No. 1 in the final round, Georgia Regents’ John Baker nailed a 45-foot putt against a strong headwind on No. 2 to swing the momentum back into the team’s favor.
Georgia Regents and Ferris State each went on to shoot 5-under that round. The Jaguars finished the tournament 93-under 636, and the Bulldogs at 87-under 642.
“We lost to a great team,” DeFrain said. “They played consistent golf all day, and that’s the kind of team I don’t mind losing to.”
Jason Lynn, the only remaining member of the 2010 national championship team, was all smiles as he walked onto the No. 20 green to sink the putt in his final collegiate championship appearance.
“The (2010 championship) was sweet, but this one feels just as good as the other one,” he said. “To go out on top, that’s what feels the best.”
Baker, who finished tied for 14th in the men’s singles championship Friday, was honored in the closing ceremony as second-team All-America.
In the women’s competition, Humboldt State soundly beat Oregon with a final score of 106-over 831.
Two-time defending national champion Mississippi State finished third.
Also on Saturday, North Texas’ Allison Carlton claimed the women’s singles national title by finishing two strokes over Mississippi State’s Krystin Nowicki with a score of 24-over 188.
“It’s been amazing,” she said. “I look forward to coming back and hanging out with the girls next year. I’m excited to come back and defend my trophy.”