PONTE VEDRA, Fla. - Augusta State made a strong case Tuesday for moving up to the No. 1 spot in the next NCAA Division I collegiate golf poll.
The second-ranked Jaguars carded a three-round total of 10-under-par 852 to win the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate by 10 shots over No. 1 Clemson at Sawgrass Country Club.
The victory was Augusta State's fourth in a row and fifth in its last six events.
It was also the third time in four events this season that Augusta State has beaten Clemson.
"We've had a great run; this kind of validates what we've done all year," first-year Augusta State golf coach Josh Gregory said. "To win against such a great field by that margin makes a pretty good statement."
In the Precept/Golf Coaches Association of America poll on the inaugural College Central show on The Golf Channel a week ago, Augusta State received two first-place votes and 736 points to place second behind Clemson (26 first-place votes, 840 points).
Augusta State opened the tournament with 3-under-par 285, then followed with rounds of 281 and 286.
The Jaguars entered the final round with a 10-shot lead over Oklahoma State and an 11-shot advantage over Clemson. The Jaguars, Cowboys and Tigers were all paired together for the last 18 holes.
Clemson sparked by medalist D.J. Trahan's final-round 5-under-par 67, closed with 285 to finish second.
Augusta State sophomore Emmett Turner fired a final-round 68 after opening with rounds of 75-70 and finished in a tie for fourth overall at 3-under. Sophomore Scott Jamieson (69-71-74) tied for seventh and senior Oliver Wilson, the No. 1-ranked golfer in Division I, posted rounds of 73-72-72 and finished in a tie for 16th place at 1-over.
Freshman James Heath, playing in his second collegiate tournament, led Augusta State with rounds of 70-68 and entered the final round in second place. Heath carded a final-round 81 and finished in a tie for 23rd at 3-over.
The other Jaguar, freshman Kalle Edburg (73-77-72), tied for 37th at 6-over.
Augusta State resumes play in the Callaway/Las Vegas Invitational at Rio Secco Country Club in Las Vegas, Nev., March 6-9.
Trahan overcame an eight-shot deficit, along with a double bogey and three bogeys in the final round, to beat North Carolina's Dustin Bray and Duke's Ryan Blaum for the individual title.
Trahan won a two-hole playoff after the trio finished at 5-under-par 211 for the tournament.
In the playoff, Trahan and Blaum birdied the par-4 first hole and Bray dropped out with a par.
On the second playoff hole, the par-5 8th, Tranhan hit the green in two shots and made a 10-foot eagle putt for the victory.
"It was the most crazy day," said Trahan. "I haven't had a round like that in a long time as far as shooting 67 and feeling you played great but also having a double bogey and three bogeys on your card."
Staff writer Chris Gay contributed to this story.
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