Champ not left out after injury

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Last summer, Nick Evans hoped to get plenty of practice to build on his top-10 finish at the inaugural Collegiate Disc Golf Championships in April.

Augusta State University's Reid Hair throws from the No. 8 tee box during the 2008 Collegiate Disc Golf Championships.  Chris Thelen/Staff
Chris Thelen/Staff
Augusta State University's Reid Hair throws from the No. 8 tee box during the 2008 Collegiate Disc Golf Championships.

As it turned out, he couldn't even pick up a disc.

"In July, I was climbing a building, and I fell off and broke both wrists and my fingers," said Evans, a graduate student at the University of Georgia. "I couldn't use my hands for three months. I learned how to play left-handed because my left hand healed faster."

On Saturday at the Hippodrome in North Augusta, Evans adapted well. He made two of his nine birdies throwing his tee shots left-handed en route to a final individual round of 9-under-par 45, finishing at 15 under par and earning the title of national champion.

"Last year, I hardly ever played before I came here. This year, I've been trying to play every day," said Evans, who tied for the low round of the tournament.

Evans cruised to a five-shot win over Kentucky's Josh Winfrey, Virginia Tech's Daniel Lassiter and Clemson's Ray Cartledge.

All earned first-team All-America honors by finishing in the top six.

"Coming into the last two holes, you always want to win. But at the same time, (Evans) deserved to win today," said Cartledge, "I played well, but you're always going to have those holes where you look back and say, 'I wish I would've played those a little better.' "

In the Best Shot Doubles on Friday, Augusta State's Michael Cordaro and Reid Hair combined for 6-under-par 48, a performance they described as middle of the pack.

Through three individual rounds, Hair's best score was 2 under par, while Cordaro's was 5 over.

Without at least three players, Augusta State couldn't compete as a team. But Cordaro and Hair said the experience of playing on the big stage should help when Augusta State fields a team next year.

"The best feeling is just going out there and getting better every round," Hair said. "This year was all about just having fun and establishing a name and everything. "

In the team competition, only the Alternate Shot Doubles remains. Defending champion Georgia finished the fourth round at 40 under par. Clemson comes into today's final round six shots back.

Reach Justin Williams at (706) 823-3304 or justin.williams@augustachronicle.com.


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