published Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Texas, Brandon Stone set Carpet Capital records

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    UTC golfer Liam Johnston watches his shot Saturday during the second round of the Carpet Capital Collegiate golf tournament at The Farm golf club in Rocky Face, Ga.
    Photo by Alyson Wright.
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ROCKY FACE, Ga. -- Reigning U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox signed autographs for a few elementary-aged kids following the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior's round at The Farm Golf Club on Saturday.

The kids should have saved some Sharpie ink for Texas freshman Brandon Stone as well.

Stone, a freshman from South Africa, set the Carpet Capital Collegiate single-round record with a 9-under-par 63 despite variable winds and intermittent rain.

He helped defending national champion Texas shoot a 22-under 266, which obliterated the previous single-round team record of 274 set by Tennessee in 2009.

"It was one of those days -- a fantastic day," said Texas coach John Fields, who is in his 16th season. "You have to appreciate days like that. They don't come around that often. That's one of the finest rounds any Texas team has ever played."

The Longhorns lead the 23rd Carpet Capital at 17-under 559 with one round to play. They lead Georgia by three strokes and the next three teams by 14 strokes: LSU, Alabama and Clemson. UTC is in seventh place, 19 shots off the lead.

Stone is in first place of the medalist race at 12-under 132. He leads Georgia senior T.J. Mitchell by one shot and teammate Jordan Speith, who shot a 66, by four. UTC's Liam Johnston is tied for eighth at 140.

The Longhorns counted rounds of 63, 66, 67 and 70 while 2011 third-team All-American Julio Vegas had the drop-score of 72.

Stone scored better for 18 holes Saturday and for the first 36 holes of the tournament than 2012 Ryder Cup players Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and Jason Dufner, who each played in the Carpet Capital at least once.

"He jumped up and had a great round today," Fields said after Stone birdied eight of 10 par-4 holes, one par-3 but none of the par-5s. "It was one of those rounds you dream of."

UTC's Mocs were far from playing like Fields, yet they improved upon their first round by six strokes. That pleased coach Mark Guhne, especially considering UTC lost nine strokes on the last two holes Friday.

They are five strokes out of a top-five finish in the tournament dubbed the Masters of College Golf.

"We want to finish as high as we can, but we can't be too aggressive and firing at flags," said junior Chris Robb, who shot 70 on Saturday. "I think we put ourselves out of contention on the first day. If we can get into the top five, that would be a nice and solid start to the season."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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