AKRON, Ohio -- The Furman (-6) men's golf team placed four players among the top 22, including junior Keller Harper (-5), who tied for fourth, to finish as the runner up at the Firestone Invitational at the par 72, 7,125 yard Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
Harper, who won individual medalist honors at last week's River Run Collegiate, scored two birdies on the front to turn at one-under, then added an additional birdie on No. 11 to card a final-round 73. He finished the tournament five strokes behind individual medalist Zach Crawford (-10) of Ohio who carded rounds of 69-69-68=206 for the win.
Freshman Owen Burden (-3) claimed the first top-10 finish of his career, tying for seventh with a final-round 69. Burden, who paced the Paladins with five birdies, scored three birdies on the front to turn at two-under then added consecutive birdies on No. 15 and No. 16 to keep the Paladins in the hunt.
Senior Connor Bruns (+1) and senior Scott Purvis (+1) tied for 22nd. Purvis eagled the par-5 No. 5 and added birdies on No. 9 and No. 16 for an even 72 in Tuesday's final round, while Bruns birdied No. 3 and No. 18 for a 73. Junior Matt Lehman (+8) scored a 76 with three birdies on the front nine to tie for 56th.
The tournament marked the second-consecutive second-place finish for the Paladins. Host Akron (-7) edged out Furman (-6) by just one stroke, while Eastern Michigan (-5) and Ohio (-5) were one stroke back in third place. William and Mary (-1) rounded out the top five.
"Obviously, it stings to come up one shot short of a win," said Furman assistant coach Todd Eckstein at the conclusion of the tournament, "but, Matt and I are proud of how our guys battled back from a deficit this afternoon and had a shot to win. We are trending in a great direction heading into our strongest field of the fall at ETSU."
Furman will compete at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate in Johnson City, Tenn., Oct. 12-14.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
2 Furman 286 285 287 858 -6
T4 Keller Harper 70 68 73 211 -5
T7 Owen Burden 70 74 69 213 -3
T22 Connor Bruns 72 72 73 217 +1
T22 Scott Purvis 74 71 72 217 +1
T56 Matt Lehman 74 74 76 224 +8