Saturday, November 24, 2007


Gareth Shaw, pictured right, from Lisburn, Northern Ireland finished a creditable sixth in the select field for the Western Refining College All-America Classic earlier this week.
The event, played at the par-71, 6,837yd El Paso Country Club, sports a 28-man field that is limited to the previous year’s NCAA Division I All-American selections, and Division II and III champions. It’s known as much for its hospitality as its who’s-who list of past champions, including Tiger Woods, David Duval and Davis Love III.
Shaw, a senior year student at East Tennessee State University, finished ahead of 22 of the American college circuit's best players, including No 1-ranked Chesson Hadley of Georgia Tech, who tied for 16th.
“Finishing sixth in the best field in the country is something to be very proud of,” said ETSU head coach Fred Warren. “Gareth’s short game was really good this week and this is definitely a good way to finish the fall. He’s already on a plane heading back to Johnson City and will be back in class tomorrow.”
Shaw had 13 birdies spread over rounds of 71, 67 and 68 for a seven-under-par total of 206. After birdieing the fifth, eighth, ninth, 14th and 15th in his final round, Gareth was set to finish joint third but he bogeyed the 16th and 17th to fall back into sixth place on his own.
Webb Simpson (Wake Forest), a member of the winning United States Walker Cup team at Royal County Down in the autumn, won the event with an impressively low total of 15-under-par 198. He stole a march on the field by equalling the course record of nine-under-par 62 in the first round to lead by four shots - and that gave him a cushion he needed when he went over par with a 72 in the second round.
Simpson finished strongly with a 64 for a three-stroke victory from Aaron Goldberg (San Diego State).
There is no team event in the Western Refining College America Classic which is the latest event of the year on the college circuit.
Par 213 (3 x 71)
198 Webb Simpson (Wake Forest) 62 72 64.
201 Aaron Goldeberg (San Diego State) 66 67 68.
204 Jonas Blixt (Florida State) 67 71 66, Andrew Landey (Arkansas) 67 69 68, Trent Leon (Oklahoma State) 69 65 70.
206 Gareth Shaw (East Tennessee State) 71 67 68.