Mississippi State senior Ford Clegg collected 18 birdies and finished with an 11-under 205 to win by 2 strokes and defend his title at the Steelwood Collegiate at Steelwood Country Club in Loxley, Alabama.
It was the third title of Clegg’s career and first since the 2019 Steelwood Collegiate, which was canceled because of COVID-19 in 2020.
“It’s hard to put into words the nerves of being the final-round leader going into today, but I was able to use some past experience to keep me patient the whole round,” Clegg said. “I was struggling through 10 holes with some uncharacteristic mistakes but was able to make birdies to keep me in it. Overall, it was a great week and great way to gain momentum heading into the spring season.”
Mississippi State shot 1-over for the final round to give the Bulldogs a fourth-place finish at 10-under par. State put up 58 birdies and three eagles during the tournament.
“Today was a great learning experience for our team,” Bulldogs coach Dusty Smith said. “We had a chance to win with nine holes left to play, and we got out of our process a little bit and focused too much on results. We did a fantastic job bouncing back and finishing better at the end which is what we want to be about.”
Austin Vukovits had a top-10 finish with a career-low total of 212. His third-round performance with five birdies carried him to tying his lowest career round of 3-under. Overall, Vukovits shot 4-under and finished tied for eighth place.
Hunter Logan struggled during Round 3 but still managed to finish with a 1-under score in a tie for 22nd place.
Pedro Cruz Silva carded four birdies and an eagle on No. 18 in the final round to finish even par. Ben Nelson put up five birdies and also finished even.
Loïc Ettlin played bogey-free golf Sunday and finished with a round of 3-under 69, giving him a 3-over total for the tournament. Jay Nimmo finished at 10-over.
Mississippi State has wrapped up its fall season and will begin spring play Feb. 14 at the Albany Collegiate Invitational in The Bahamas.
Tyrrell, Anderson, Perry honored by SEC
Mississippi State’s Andrea Tyrrell and Maddy Anderson have been named second-team all-SEC, while Ally Perry earned SEC all-freshman honors, the conference announced Sunday.
“We are so incredibly proud of the players for their all-conference recognition and that all three will return next year,” Bulldogs coach James Armstrong said. “Only five other programs placed more players on the postseason award list. The future is bright for this program.”
Tyrrell, a senior defender from Toronto, Ontario, started in every game this season, logging 1,497 total minutes. She scored the tying goal Oct. 21 against Texas A&M, sparking a come-from-behind win. Tyrrell was part of a Bulldogs defense that did not allow more than two goals all season.
Anderson, a sophomore goalkeeper from Seabrook, Texas, logged 1,500 minutes, recording 65 saves with a save percentage of .774. She wrapped up her 2021 campaign with a 5-8-3 record and her four shutouts is tied for eighth in MSU single-season history.
Anderson earned her fifth win of the year by striking the game-winning penalty kick on her first career shot Oct. 28 against Ole Miss.
Perry, a midfielder from Frisco, Texas, started in 11 matches, making her collegiate debut Aug. 22 against Louisiana and her first career start Sept. 5 at Iowa. Perry ended her first season at State as the freshman leader in points (4), second overall in assists (4) and third in shots (18).
This is the fifth time that a Mississippi State player has been named to the SEC all-freshman team. Anderson made the team last season.