HARRIS, Mich. -- Michigan State junior James Piot claimed his first career individual title at the Island Resort Intercollegiate on Sunday at Sage Run Golf Club. Piot was the co-leader after two rounds and turned in a 3-under-par 69 to surge to the title. As a team, the Spartans shot the best round of the tournament by any team on Sunday with a 9-under-par 279. MSU ended up 4-under-par 860 (289-292-279) to take fifth place, finishing just one shot out of third place and only four back of tournament champ Purdue.
“It’s very special for a young man who does everything we want a student-athlete to do here at MSU to get his first win,” MSU head coach Casey Lubahn said. “We expect him to play like he did this weekend, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy and I definitely don’t think this will be the last time we see him winning a tournament.
“As a team, it’s important that we made up a lot of shots today. It was similar to the first two rounds, but today we finished strong and it was the round of the tournament. It’s a good group, we just have to grow up a bit.”
Piot was under par in all three rounds at Sage Run and his 207 was two shots better than his previous career best. The native of Canton was even through 14 holes and then went on to birdie three of the final four, including each of the last two. Piot wound up finishing three strokes ahead of a trio of players that tied for second place.
Sophomore Troy Taylor II had his best round of the season-opening tournament on Sunday with a 3-under-par 69, with the help of three birdies over the final three holes. Taylor’s performance pushed him into the top 10 as he tied for eighth place at 2-under-par 214 (73-72-69).
Freshman Bradley Smithson recorded the lowest round of any player in the entire tournament with a course-record 6-under-par 66 on Sunday. Smithson birdied the final two holes of the front nine and then picked up five more to go 5-under-par on back nine. He finished his first tournament 5-over-par 221 (76-79-66) and tied for 27th place.
“I’m really proud of Troy and Brad,” Lubahn said. “They’re going to be very good for us and they came up big when we needed them today.”
Andrew Walker and Zach Rosendale shot matching 4-over-par 75s on Sunday and both finished tied for 38th place at 8-over-par 224.
Redshirt sophomore Landon Ernst was the top finisher of Spartans that played individually, placing 22nd at 4-over-par 220 (72-70-78).
The Spartans are back in action Sept. 8-9 at the Gopher Invitational in Independence, Minnesota.