The Cavalier Classic


 

Started in 1986 by former head coach Clem King, the Cavalier Classic has been host to great collegiate golf drama.

The spring of 2011 saw Virginia host the event for the 24th time.

Host Virginia has won its own classic eight times in the 24-year history of the event.

In 2011 Virginia won its second consecutive title behind the record-setting performance of freshman medalist Ben Rusch. After shooting 2-under 70 during his opening round, Rusch posted a tourney record 7-under 65 in the afternoon to win at 9-under 135. His second round score and total for 36 holes were both Cavalier Classic records for Birdwood Golf Course.

It was UVa's fourth title over a five-year period.

In 2010 Virginia ran away with a 20-shot victory led by Ben Kohles, who took medalist honors by two strokes. 

In 2008 UVa won by three shots over second-place Augusta State in a 36-hole format. It marked the first time the Cavaliers claimed back-to-back titles at the Cavalier Classic. In 2007. UVa cruised to a 24-shot win over second-place UNCG in the 10-team field.

In 1994, Cavalier All-American Simon Cooke took home medalist honors for the home team for the first time with an eight-under 208, besting the previous tournament record by two strokes.

In 2006 Brad Tilley became the second UVa player to win the tournament in a dramatic fashion that may never be repeated. Tilley was tied with Maryland's Blaine Peffley and NC State's Stephen Lewton after 54 holes of stroke play. Lewton and his Wolfpack teammates had already departed for the return trip to Raleigh, leaving just Tilley and Peffley to battle for the medalist trophy. And what a battle it was.

Both players made par on their first six playoff holes before Tilley finally won on the seventh hole with a par to Peffley's bogie.

The 1999 tournament saw Wake Forest place three players among the top five and earn coach Jerry Haas his first coaching victory. The Demon Deacons jumped out to a 13-stroke lead after two rounds, but Virginia stormed back and closed within three shots, behind the play of James Driscoll and Cameron Yancey, before settling for second-place honors. Wake Forest's Jay Morgan claimed individual honors in 1999 with a six-under 210.

In 1997, freshman Mike Mitchell, playing in the first collegiate event, worked his way into the individual lead after 36 holes with a remarkable five-under par performance, which included a hole-in-one in the second round. Mitchell's 69-68 effort, along with Andrea Brotto's 68-71 and Lewis Chitengwa's 71-69, helped forge an eight-stroke lead for the Cavaliers. With the final round played in high winds, the rookie Mitchell faltered, but veterans Chitengwa and James Driscoll fired 71 and 69, respectively, and the Cavs' eight-shot lead became an eight-shot victory. The win marked Virginia's fourth Cavalier Classic title, and its first win at the Keswick Club.

In 1995 at Birdwood, Virginia trailed Southern Methodist by one stroke entering the final round. Led by Cole Kelly, who birdied the first three holes and made a hole-in-one on the 12th hole, the Cavaliers produced a nine-under par team score to tie SMU. The win marked Virginia's first Cavalier Classic title since 1990, when Tim Dunlavey, Fred Widicus, and Bill Bierman led UVa to an 11-shot victory over Georgia Tech.

Former Cavalier Andrea Signor took medalist honors in 2004 while competing for the Italian National Team.

Most notable among the past individuals winners is current PGA star David Duval, who claimed medalist honors in 1992 and 1993.

Cavalier Classic Team Champions


Team  Champions

Year  Tourney Winner                     Score  Field

1986  Furman             301-311-307-919 (+55)    15

1987  NC State           309-291-299-899 (+35)    14

1988  Virginia           292-295-296-883 (+19)     9

1989  East Tennessee St. 298-285-298-881 (+17)    14

1990  Virginia           296-286-285-867  (+3)    17

1991  Georgia Tech       292-290-281-863  (-1)    17

1992  Georgia Tech       289-294-285-868  (+4)    18

1993  Georgia Tech       294-290-291-875 (+11)    18

1994  Georgia Tech       279-284-296-859  (-5)    15

1995  NC State           288-296-288-872  (+8)    17

1995  Virginia           291-295-279-865  (+1)    12

  So. Methodist          296-289-280-865  (+1) 

1996  $ North Carolina   285-283-277-845  (-7)    14

1997  $ Virginia         281-278-295-856  (+4)    13

1998  $ North Carolina   274-277-280-831 (-21)    14

1999  Wake Forest        285-280-292-857  (-7)    15

2001  East Tennessee St.     288-294-582  (+6)     4

2004  UNC Wilmington     287-290-293-870  (+6)    11

2005  William & Mary     293-299-300-892 (+28)    12

2006  Maryland           295-281-295-871  (+7)    10

2007  Virginia           292-285-291-868  (+4)    10

2008  Virginia               282-293-575  (-1)    21

2009  South Carolina                 286  (-2)    18

2010  Virginia               291-294-575  (-1)    11
2011  Virginia               295-279-574  (-2)     9

 

Cavalier Classic Medalists

1986  M. Warton-Palmer, Centenary      73-74-73-220 (+4)

1987  John Hughes, North Carolina      70-70-77-217 (+1)

1988  Roger Rowland, Augusta State     72-73-70-215 (-1)

1989  Tee Burton, North Carolina       71-70-73-214 (-2)

1990  Tee Burton, North Carolina       70-71-69-210 (-6)

1991  Jon Hurst, Old Dominion*         68-71-71-210 (-6)

      Steve Isley, NC State            68-71-71-210 (-6)

1992  David Duval, Georgia Tech*       68-75-70-213 (-3)

      Neil Connolly, UT Chatt.         70-72-71-213 (-3)

1993  David Duval, Georgia Tech        73-69-72-214 (-2)

1994  Simon Cooke, Virginia            69-69-70-208 (-8)

1995  John McCann, UNC Green.         73-66#-72-211 (-5)

1995  Rob Bradley, North Carolina         68-72-140 (-4)

1996  Jason Buha, Duke$                67-69-68-204 (-9)

1997  Chad Wellhausen, Miss. St.$      68-70-68-206 (-7)

1998  Brad Hyler, North Carolina$      65-67-70-202 (-11)

1999  Jay Morgan, Wake Forest          70-68-72-210 (-6)

2001  Mark Donaldson, Florida State       70-71-141 (-3)

2004  Andrea Signor, Italian Nat’l •   68-71-74-213 (-3)

      Dustin Bray, North Carolina      70-70-73-213 (-3)

2005  Gary Barton, Wm. & Mary•         74-73-71-218 (+2)

      Taylor Crosby, NC State          71-73-74-218 (+2)

2006  Brad Tilley, Virginia•           72-73-71-216 (E)

      Blaine Peffley, Maryland         73-68-75-216 (E)

      Stephen Lewton, NC State         73-71-72-216 (E)

2007  Drew Younts, UNCG                68-69-77-214 (-2)

2008  Henrik Norlander, Augusta St.       71-68-139 (-5)

2009  Josh Brock, UNC Wilmington                 67 (-5)

2010  Ben Kohles, Virginia                72-68-140 (-4)
2011  Ben Rusch, Virginia                 70-65-135 (-9)

 

Cavalier Classic Records

Low 18-Hole Score:

2011 Ben Rusch, Virginia            65 (-7)
1998 $ Max Harris, North Carolina   64 (-7)

1998 $ Brad Hyler, North Carolina   65 (-6)

1995 John McCann, UNC Greensboro    66 (-6) #

1993 Jason Widener, Duke            66 (-6) #

 

Low 36-Hole Score:
2011 Ben Rusch                      70-65-135 (-9)

1998 $ Brad Hyler, North Carolina   65-67-132 (-10)

1994 Simon Cooke, Virginia          69-69-138 (-6)

 

Low 54-Hole Score:

1998 $ Brad Hyler, North Carolina   65-67-70-202 (-11)

1994 Simon Cooke, Virginia          69-69-70-208 (-8)

 

Team Low 18-Hole Score:

1998 $ North Carolina               274 (-10)

1997 Georgia Tech                   279 (-9)

 

Team Low 36-Hole Score:

1998 $ North Carolina               274-277-551 (-17)

1994 Georgia Tech                   279-284-563 (-13)

 

Team Low 54-Hole Score:

1998 $ North Carolina               274-277-280-831 (-21)

1999 Wake Forest                    285-280-292-857 (-7)

 

$ played at the Keswick Club (par 71)

* won play-off

# Birdwood course record