BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - One day after winning the Hootie at Bulls Bay in Awendaw, South Carolina, the Ole Miss men's golf team swept the SEC weekly awards, the league office announced Wednesday afternoon. Capturing the 10th individual victory of his Rebel career, junior Braden Thornberry was named SEC Golfer of the Week, while Cecil Wegener claimed SEC Freshman of the Week for the third time this season.
Both Rebels earned their third weekly awards of their careers. Thornberry earned one SEC Freshman of the Week honor in 2016 before being the conference golfer of the week after a win at the Ryman Hospitality Intercollegiate in 2017. While he collected two wins this past fall, SEC weekly awards are only given out during the spring. Out of six weeks this spring, including only four in which the Rebels have competed, Wegener has three SEC Freshman of the Week accolades.
Thornberry and Wegener were primary catalysts in the Rebels overcoming a six-stroke deficit to win the Hootie at Bulls Bay earlier this week. The duo helped Ole Miss fire a final round 269 (-19), the lowest 18-hole team score in school history, breaking a 17-year old scoring mark that was set at the 2001 Gator Invitational. Thornberry fired a final round 66 (-6) with seven birdies and only one bogey. Wegener was close behind with his lowest round ever as a Rebel, tallying six birdies and a bogey throughout the record-setting day for a 67 (-5). Ole Miss finished the tournament at 23-under (281-291-69--841) to beat runner-up Kent State by one stroke.
Placed at the top of the leaderboard at -13, Thornberry won his third tournament of the 2017-18 season. The junior's 54-hole score of 203 (68-69-66) tied for the third-lowest three-round total in program history. He posted a tournament-best 3.75 stroke average (-6) on the par 4s, while going -7 on the par 5s (second among the 75-player field). Thornberry collected his 10th career win, becoming the first golfer in Ole Miss history to reach double figures in individual victories. With all three rounds in the 60s, Thornberry dropped his season stroke average to 69.83 to rank second in the SEC. The win also moved Thornberry back to No. 1 in Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com's world rankings.
Wegener played his best tournament as a Rebel to earn his third conference weekly honor in only four tries. The Ridgeland, Mississippi, native posted a three-round total of 212 (69-76-67), his lowest 54-hole mark donning the Red and Blue. He finished tied for 10th for the first top-10 finish of his career. Wegener fired two round in the 60s with an opening round 69, breaking 70 for the first time as a Rebel until his final round 67.
Thornberry, Wegener and the rest of the Rebels have two more tournaments left before facing the rest of the conference at the SEC Championship (April 25-29). Ole Miss will look to take its winning momentum to Gastonia, North Carolina for the Gary Koch Intercollegiate (April 9-10). One week later (April 16-17), Ole Miss returns to the Magnolia State for the Old Waverly Intercollegiate in West Point.
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