Kaiser wins Pearl River Invitational shooting five under

Published 3:18 pm Thursday, February 9, 2023

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No. 2 Mississippi Gulf Coast finished its knockout of the field at the first MACCC tournament of the spring Monday, winning the Pearl River Invitational by a staggering 35 shots.

The Bulldogs were the only team to finish below par at The Oaks Golf Club, shooting 3-under as a team under trying second-round conditions to finish 1-under. Likewise, Chase Kaiser (So., Natchez/Cathedral) was the only individual in red numbers, finishing at 5-under to win by six shots over teammate Will Burnham (Fr., Jackson/Jackson Prep).

“Today, you had a little bit of everything,” Gulf Coast coach Brad Thornton said. “It was cool to start with, then the rain settled in. The wind picked up. I was very pleased with our mental approach and how we handled adversity.”

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Kaiser shot 1-over 73 to lead four Gulf Coast golfers atop the leaderboard. Jackson Wise (Fr., Pontotoc/North Pontotoc) shot Tuesday’s low round with a 69 to finish tied for third with Andrew Zielinski (Fr., Ocean Springs/Ocean Springs), who shot 1-under.

Alessio Graziani (So., Johannesburg, South Africa/Beaulieu College) tied for seventh which put the whole Gulf Coast team in the top eight finishers.

“Yesterday, I played really well,” Kaiser said. “I hit it well and putted it well. I got hot on the back and posted a score. That was good because I didn’t have my best stuff today. I knew the way things were falling, I just needed to avoid big numbers. I tried to make my bad holes bogeys and hit fairways and greens.”

Meridian finished second at 34-over, followed by Copiah-Lincoln another 21 shots back.

Gulf Coast goes outside of the MACCC next week to play in the Coastal Alabama Invitational. The Bulldogs will play Feb. 13-14 at Timbercreek Golf Club in Daphne, Ala.

The next conference tournament will be the East Central Invitational on March 6-7. It will be played at Dancing Rabbit Golf Club in Philadelphia.

“One of our goals for the season is to not lose a conference round,” Kaiser said. “Right now, we’re 2-for-2 for this semester, which is a positive for us to take going forward. Especially because the course played tough and we shot under-par as a team, which is a great start to the spring semester.”