Gallman Wins Individual Title At Lonnie D. Small Classic
March 4, 2008
Buies Creek, N.C. - Josh Gallman turned in an even-par 72 Tuesday in the final round of the Lonnie D. Small Classic, good enough to post a 3-under-par 141 total to win the individual championship and lead the USC Upstate men's golf team to a sixth-place finish in the 14-team field.
Gallman's win marked his third individual championship of the season. He won the Sea Trail Intercollegiate in September and the CFSC/Stetson Invitational in November. His win also marks the fifth time this year that an Upstate golfer has won an individual title. Michael Lawrence won the individual championship at the Rutgers Invitational in September and Tyler Tucker won at last week's BSC Classic in Birmingham, Ala.
Gallman entered the final round tied for second with two other players after opening the tournament with a 69 Monday. He trailed Elon's Jimmy Lytle by two strokes entering the day. However, Lytle posted a 75 Tuesday and Gallman posted the 72, having started on hole No. 4 and finishing on hole No. 3. He birdied the final hole of the day, sinking a 35-footer to win the tournament by one stroke over three players, including Lytle. He made 12 birdies in 36 holes in the tournament.
"I had no idea that I needed the last putt to win the tournament," said Gallman. "I knew I was coming off of a double bogey on No. 1 and I thought I possibly needed to make the putt to tie. Luckily I made a 35-footer on the last hole and I won. It felt pretty good that the putt won the tournament. The putt broke about a cup left of the hole. It was a perfect read by Coach (Todd) Lawton and I put it on line."
Winning his third individual title of the season was a goal set forth at the beginning of the year by his dad, but it was not a goal that Gallman himself thought would be achievable.
"Entering the season my dad said to win three tournaments," said Gallman. "I thought he was nuts, but I've won three and we still have more tournaments to play this spring."
Gallman's efforts came against several players from Atlantic Sun Conference schools. Four other A-Sun schools participated in the tournament along with Upstate, including Campbell, Gardner-Webb, Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson.
Gallman's solid play allowed the Spartans to finish 6th in the team standings. Upstate shot a 298 Tuesday, two strokes lower than Monday's round, to finish with a 598 total. The host Campbell Camels shot a 289 Tuesday and finished with a 583 total to win the championship. Elon was second, just one stroke behind at 584. Gardner-Webb was third with a 589 total and was followed by Radford (592), Florida Gulf Coast (596), Upstate (598), Longwood (602), San Francisco (606), Davidson (607), Stetson (609), Seton Hall (613), James Madison (619), George Mason (620) and Towson (628).
Baxter Culler helped the Upstate cause, turning in a 75 Tuesday for a 149 total, finishing tied for 23rd. Michael Lawrence finished with a 74 Tuesday, six strokes better than his score Monday, to finish with a 154 total. Tyler Tucker added a second straight 77 to tie Lawrence at 154 for 46th place. Jamie Lightsey turned in a 79 Tuesday, five shots better than Monday's score, for a 163 total to finish tied for 74th.
"Despite starting off with a few difficult holes, Josh kept his concentration and rolled in a couple of putts back-to-back to get back to even par," said Lawton. "He made a double bogey just after it started to pour down rain. Then he came back on his final hole, made a good read and executed the birdie putt. We both looked at the putt and agreed on the read. He put it on line and it fell.
"To have our fifth tournament win in Division I is incredible. We just have to get more consistent scores out of all of our golfers and maybe we can start to put together better team scores and finish higher in tournaments."