Sugar Grove, Ill. -
Virginia sophomore men's golfer Denny McCarthy picked up the first tournament victory of his career Sunday, winning the Northern Open at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. McCarthy, the 2012 ACC Freshman of the Year, helped the Cavaliers climb to a fifth-place finish in the 11-team field.
McCarthy entered the final round in sixth place, three shots behind the leaders after shooting back-to-back rounds of 3-over 74 Saturday. He posted a final round effort of 3-under 68 to win by thee shots. McCarthy used three birdies over his final six holes to pull away for the victory.
"This really helps my confidence, to get the first win under my belt," McCarthy said. "I want to win so this takes some of that pressure off of me. Mentally I played better this week than I have been. If I had a bad shot, I didn't let it bother me, I just kept moving along."
McCarthy finished in the top-10 five times as a freshman and led UVa in scoring five times, including all four fall tournaments. His best finishes were fourth-place showings at the ACC Championships and ironically the VCU shootout, the team's first event last season.
"I came off of summer golf feeling confident," McCarthy said. "I played well all summer so there was no reason not to carry it over into our season. It just clicked this week. I didn't really hit it all that great, I just plugged away and did what I needed to do."
Because Saturday's second round was not completed due to darkness, the teams started the third round without reassigning tee times based on results from the first 36 holes of play. McCarthy, competing as UVa's number-three competitor, finished his round well ahead of the final groupings for the day.
"I actually enjoyed not playing in the final couple of groups," he said. "It probably took some of the pressure off. I didn't worry about what was going on before me or after me. I just kept my head down and just kept moving along."
"I know he wants to break Ben's (Kohles) record of seven tournament wins," said Virginia coach Bowen Sargent
. "He picked up his first victory at the same time as Ben did, in the first tournament of his second season. It was really fun to watch today."
Virginia stood in 11th place following the opening round after shooting 319. The team rebounded with scores of 300 and 295 to finish at 62-over 914. Indiana took first place at 36-over 888.
Ji Soo Park placed 20th for the Cavaliers at 16-over 229. Freshman Kyle Kochevar and senior Mac McDonald tied for 36th at 237. Gregor Orlando was 50th at 243. It was just Orlando's third tournament appearance in the last three seasons.
The Cavaliers return to action Sept. 21-23 at the Mason Rudolph Championship in Franklin, Tenn.
Rich Harvest Farms
Sugar Grove, Ill.
Par-71, 7,218 yards
1. Indiana 308-291-289-888
2. St. Mary's 306-301-296-903
3. Liberty 308-305-292-905
4. Purdue 301-304-294-908
5. Virginia 319-300-295-914
5. Central Florida 301-312-301-914
7. Ball State 317-299-300-916
8. Michigan State 307-322-300-929
9. Iowa State 315-312-304-931
10. Augusta State 309-317-307-933
11. Northern Illinois 318-315-315-948
1. Denny McCarthy, Virginia 74-74-68-216
2. Michael McGee, Indiana 74-71-74-219
2. Scott Fernandez, Iowa State 74-74-71-219
4. Brant Peaper, Indiana 75-74-71-220
4. Chase Marinell, Liberty 74-71-75-220
6. Jonathan Dilanni, Purdue 76-73-72-221
6. Robin Petersson, Augusta State 74-74-73-221
1. Denny McCarthy 74-74-68-216
20. Ji Soo Park 81-76-72-229
36. Kyle Kochevar 82-72-83-237
36. Mac McLaughlin 82-78-77-237
50. Gregor Orlando 83-82-78-243