Stetson's Tommy Parker Captures JU Invitational
Stetson's Tommy Parker fired a 67 in the final round to win the JU Invitational by five strokes. <by><i>Courtesy</i>
Stetson's Tommy Parker fired a 67 in the final round to win the JU Invitational by five strokes. Courtesy

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. - Stetson senior Tommy Parker (Palm Beach, Fla.) got his final semester of college men’s golf off to its best possible start with a five-stroke victory in the season-opening Jacksonville Invitational at the TPC Sawgrass Valley Course on Tuesday. Parker’s five under par 67 today, the second-lowest 18-hole score in program history, tied for the low round of the tournament and enabled him to finish -4 for the 54-hole tournament. Unfortunately, the Hatters slipped from second place after 36 holes to finish fourth of 10 squads with a +38 team score.

Parker did most of his damage today on the front nine, racking up three straight birdies to close out the front nine and going out in four under par 32. He recovered nicely from a 10th hole bogey with back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16 to seal his first collegiate tournament title. He tied with junior Dave McAndrew (Barrington, R.I.) for the lead at the Bethune-Cookman Invitational last fall but fell to his Hatter teammate in a playoff. Parker became the sixth Hatter men’s golfer to shoot 67 in competition, one shot off the record set by Dray Summers in March 1993.

Parker’s victory came against a strong opening field that included 33rd-ranked team tournament champion Lamar and 62nd-ranked runner-up Kentucky. UK’s Andy Winings, the nation’s #91 player in the GolfWeek rankings, took home second place at +1 while Lamar’s Justin Harding, ranked 72nd, placed third at +2. Other top 100 golfers that Parker bested included Lamar’s Leroux Ferriera (#31) and Hugues Joannes (#57) along with Kentucky’s Ben Fuqua (#45). Ferriera is ranked fourth in the nation among golfers from non-BCS programs.