Ezell finishes in top half of field, Griffin cards two-under 70, to power CSU on final day of The Hootie

Ezell finishes in top half of field, Griffin cards two-under 70, to power CSU on final day of The Hootie

AWENDAW, S.C. – Jake Ezell finished in the top half of the field and Art Griffin fired a two-under par 70 to lead Charleston Southern on the final day of The Hootie at Bulls Bay. CSU finished 14th as a team in the prestigious event featuring ten of the nation's top-50 teams.

Ezell (T-40th) started his third round with a birdie and added another at the par-four eighth, his second to last hole of the day, en route to a 73. He finished at +3 over 54 holes, continuing the solid golf he has contributed for much of the campaign for Director of Golf Todd Selders' Bucs. Griffin posted six birdies – three on each side – for his second quality effort of the tournament. The duo's play, along with a 73 from Jacques Wilson, propelled CSU to a strong four-over 292 total, matching its first round output.

South Carolina won its second consecutive Hootie title with a 20-under par total score. The Gamecocks were nine-under in round three to pull away for co-day two leader Ole Miss. The Rebels finished second at -16, while Auburn compiled the score of the day – 11-under 277 – to surge into a tie for third with N.C. State.

Ole Miss's Ben Wolcott (-12) edged teammate Braden Thornberry by a shot to secure the individual crown. South Carolina's Keenan Huskey was close behind at -10. Twenty-three of the 81 players in the field finished in red numbers.

Ezell built off his T-15th effort two weeks ago at the General Hackler Championship. He thrived on the front nine, putting together an even-par tally over those 27 combined holes.

Griffin offered more promise as he looks to regain form after missing extended time with an injury. He carded scores of 72 and 70 around a second round 79, giving him a chance to build momentum toward the conference championship in three weeks.

Wilson rebounded from a second round 80 to post a one-over par score on Tuesday. He dropped in birdies at the par-five fourth and sixth holes, and capped his day with another at the par-four ninth.

Austin James contributed CSU's other counted score with a four-over 76. The round followed efforts of 72 and 75. James played a clean back nine, with nine pars, but struggled on the front side. Like Griffin and Wilson, he also ended his day with a birdie at the ninth.

CSU will return to competition in two weeks (April 10-11) at The Koch in Gastonia, N.C. The event will be the Bucs' final tune-up for the Big South Conference Championship. 

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